Convicted Barghouti Voted to Fatah’s New Leadership


Published August 11, 2009.
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Marwan Barghouti, who is serving five life sentences in an Israeli prison, was among those elected to the Palestinian Fatah Party’s new leadership.

The election results for Fatah’s Central Committee were finalized Tuesday, at the end of the party’s first congress in 20 years.

Only three incumbents were returned to the committee, marking a decision to pick a new generation of leaders.

Barghouti, 50, was found guilty in 2004 for his role in deadly attacks against Israelis during the second intifada.

Other delegates elected include Mohammed Dahlan, who formerly led Fatah in Gaza, and former Palestinian internal security chief Jibril Rajoub, who served as an aide to the late Yasser Arafat. Saeb Erekat, a frequent Palestinian spokesman to the international media, also won a seat.

Ahmed Qureia, the lead Palestinian negotiator and former Palestinian Authority prime minister, lost his seat on the Central Committee.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday was unanimously elected to serve as the party’s head. Abbas succeeded Arafat after the longtime Palestinian leader died in 2004.

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