IslamNews – Imprisoned Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti has endorsed a list of challengers opposing president Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement in legislative elections next month, the head of the dissident list said on Thursday.
Barghouti, who is serving multiple life sentences in an Israeli jail, has been a closely watched figure ahead of the first Palestinian elections in 15 years.
The deadline for submitting candidate lists for the May 22 legislative polls expired on Wednesday.
Barghouti’s wife Fadwa is the second candidate on the “Freedom” list headed by Nasser al-Kidwa, nephew of the late iconic Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
Freedom “is supported by Marwan Barghouti, and the proof of course is the presence of his wife” on the list, Kidwa told AFP.
“We had discussions… not with him directly but (with) many of his associates, supporters and family,” he added.
Kidwa said Barghouti’s input helped shape the movement’s “program” and individual candidates.
Kidwa was expelled from Fatah earlier this year after announcing his intention to run for the Palestinian presidency in a July 31 vote, a move seen as a direct affront to the 85-year-old Abbas.
Thirty-six groups have submitted lists to run in May’s legislative polls.
Palestinian election officials have validated 13. The approved candidate lists will be published next week.