Abbas announces first Palestinian elections in 15 years
Palestinian Authority Chairman, Mahmoud Abbas, has decreed that legislative elections will take place on May 22 and a vote for president on July 31 in “all cities of the homeland.” This is intended to include the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. Abbas’ longtime rival Mahmoud Dahlan, who lives in exile in Abu Dhabi since their falling-out a decade ago, announced on Saturday that if he is left off Abbas’ mainstream Fatah slate, he will establish his own party to run for election.
Abbas (Abu Mazen) took this step less than a week before the swearing-in of the Democrats’ Joe Biden. He seems to be trying to impart democratic credentials to the Palestinian image in Washington and improve relations after a down-period under Donald Trump.