Yasser Arafat's nephew clashes with Fatah ahead of elections

Yasser Arafat's nephew clashes with Fatah ahead of elections
Nasser Al-Qudwa, Yasser Arafat's nephew, refused to attend a meeting led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to address rifts in the Fatah party.
2 min read
09 March, 2021
Nasser Al-Qudwa is Yasser Arafat's nephew [Getty]
Yasser Arafat's nephew refused to attend a meeting with the Palestinian presidency on Monday and defied party orders to run in upcoming Palestinian elections on an independent list.

The Fatah central committee on Monday scheduled a meeting in Ramallah, led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, to address the growing rift within the party as the election date looms.

Nasser Al-Qudwa, a longstanding member of Fatah's central committee, refused to attend the meeting saying that Palestinians are "tired of the current situation" that is marked by "the absence of rule of law, inequality, and injustice", Arab Weekly reported.

Last week, Al-Qudwa launched the Palestinian Democratic Forum - attended by 230 prominent Palestinians and in defiance Fatah leaders' demands for party unity.

Participants from Gaza, the West Bank and the Palestinian diaspora called on imprisoned Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti to join the group, which may pose a massive blow to Abbas' Fatah.

Read more: EXCLUSIVE: Imprisoned Fatah politician Marwan Barghouti to run for Palestinian presidency

Al-Qudwa said the group "intends only to be a forum and not a vehicle to solve Fatah's many problems".

"We are creating a list and our aim is not to cause a crisis," he said.

Meanwhile, Abbas intends to sanction Al-Qudwa and other Fatah members for running on a separate list and "dividing the party".

Pro-Abbas activists launched an online campaign urging the the Fatah party not to fragment ahead of the elections.

Many shared a post by Farouk Kaddoumi, a vetran Fatah leader and PLO founder: "Fear God, unite, pray and remember that when your leaders went through the most difficult of these circumstances, they said: We split our chests and do not crack open."

Party lists for legislative elections are scheduled to be announced on 20 March.

Palestine will head to polls for the first time in 15 years in the summer. The legislative elections will take place for 22 May and a presidential vote on 31 July.

The New Arab has contacted Nasser Al-Qudwa for  comment.

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