The chairman of the PA avoids elections for fear of his defeat

The voices are increasing in the European Union and in the Palestinian street for holding general elections in order to bring about a change in the situation of the residents of the territories. Abu Mazen does not want elections now he fears he will be defeated.

The European Union demands general elections in the territories and considers it necessary to set a date for it as soon as possible, the spokesperson of the European Union delegation in the territories announced on August 1th ..
He added that the elections in East Jerusalem should be held in accordance with the agreements signed between Israel and the PLO, which state that the residents of East Jerusalem have the right to present their candidacy in the elections and to be elected.
The issue of holding elections in the territories is again gaining momentum while the succession battle at the top of the PA increases, the chairman of the PLO, Abu Mazen, reached the age of 87 and he began appointing his associates to key positions at the top of the PLO in order to determine facts on the ground without elections.
The most prominent of them is Hussein al-Sheikh, a close associate of Abu Mazen whom he appointed as the secretary general of the executive committee of the PLO.
Abu Mazen has served as chairman of the PA since 2005, since then presidential elections have not been held in the territories for various reasons, the main of which is the split between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and the Hamas movement's takeover of the Gaza Strip by force and the expulsion of the PA, after its victory in the Palestinian parliamentary elections in 2006.
Presidential and parliamentary elections were supposed to be held in the summer of 2021, after an agreement was reached between Fatah and Hamas, but Abu Mazen canceled it with the excuse that Israel opposes holding elections in East Jerusalem.
The truth is that he feared his personal defeat in the elections against Fatah senior Marwan Barghouti and a repeated defeat of the Fatah movement by Hamas in the parliamentary elections..
The Palestinian Authority is in a very bad state, the corruption that has spread through all of its institutions, the dictatorship that it leads and the strong popular opposition in the Palestinian street to the continuation of Abu Mazen's rule, according to Palestinian public opinion polls more than 70 percent of the residents of the territories demand that Abu Mazen resign immediately.
Fatah's secretary general Jibril Rajoub openly said in an appearance on Palestinian television a few weeks ago that "the cancellation of the election last year was a mistake".
Senior Fatah officials fear that the growing unrest among various sectors of Palestinian society in the West Bank crying out for a real change will lead to a popular eruption of violence in the streets that will undermine the stability of the Palestinian Authority.

The initiative of Dr. Nasser Al-Kidwa

More than 600 prominent Palestinian figures have so far signed the political initiative launched last week by Dr. Nasser Al-Kidwa, a former Fatah Central Committee member, who was expelled from the movement last year by Abu Mazen amid disputes over the elections and after Al-Kidwa has established an independent list to run in the parliamentary elections.
Nasser Al-kidwa is the nephew of Yasser Arafat, he was the Palestinian Foreign Minister and the PLO representative at the UN, He is currently the head of what is called the "National Democratic Club".
He published his initiative that calls for an extensive change in the Palestinian political system and to build its institutions anew in order to prevent its collapse.
Dr. Al-kidwa expressed hope that the PA leadership will accept his initiative and start a national dialogue to bring about a change in the situation.
He called for general elections and the rebuilding of PLO institutions and the establishment of a new Palestinian National Council (PNC).
Al-kidwa believes that his initiative can only succeed if it has broad popular support.

The chance that his initiative will be accepted by the chairman of the PA Abu Mazen is close to zero, Abu Mazen was the one who expelled him from the Fatah movement and there is bad blood between the two.
The chairman of the PA fears the loss of the Fatah movement in the parliamentary elections and his personal defat in the presidential elections.
Senior officials in Fatah claim that there is an understanding between the Biden administration and Abu Mazen and Israel, Egypt and Jordan that in the next two years there will be no elections held in the territories to allow Abu Mazen to make an orderly transfer of power to his associates so that stability of the PA is preserved, only then will it be possible to hold general elections in the territories.
No imminent change in the situation in the Palestinian Territories is expected, but the possibility of a popular outbreak because of the lack of a political horizon for the Palestinians and deep frustration from the PA's conduct in all areas is possible.
The PA has begun to lose control in several areas in the West Bank, in Hebron, Jenin and Nablus, the

security anarchy is increasing and this is a dangerous process that may destabilize the PA rule.

Yoni ben Menachem

SenIor Middle East Analyst

הערה: הכותב הוא מזרחן ומנכ"ל רשות השידור לשעבר

אודות יוני בן מנחם

יוני בן מנחם הוא מזרחן, עיתונאי ומנכ"ל רשות השידור לשעבר. הוא בעל עשרות שנות ניסיון בעיתונות הכתובה והמצולמת. דרכו של בן מנחם בעולם המדיה החלה כמפיק של הטלוויזיה היפנית במזרח התיכון. לאחר מכן, הוא מילא תפקידי מפתח רבים בתקשורת הישראלית: מנכ"ל רשות השידור, מנהל רדיו קול ישראל, כתב לענייניי שטחים, כתב ופרשן מדיני, פרשן לענייני המזרח התיכון ועורך ראשי ומגיש התוכנית 'מגזין המזה"ת'. 

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