As the long awaited Congress of the Palestinian Fatah faction draws to a close, the election of the central committee has come under fire from a veteran who lost his seat. Claiming voting irregularities, the former Prime Minister Ahmed Qurie said the results would not be trusted.
The election saw an influx of new, younger members onto the executive body. Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas said: “Thanks to God, our sixth Fatah Congress ended a dazzling success. Our unity is now stronger, our determination consolidated and we have greater trust in the future. It’s a new start towards freedom and independence.” But Ahmed Qurie claims there were too many ballot boxes; papers bearing the same handwriting and a 24-hour delay in announcing the result. He wants a review of the vote, but officials say it was fair and transparent. It is hoped the younger generation will help to bring Palestinian unity, and inject a new impetus into talks with Israel. One charismatic new committee member though, Marwan Barghouti, is serving life in an Israeli jail.