Hamas is considering not running a candidate in the Palestinian Authority’s presidential election, which is expected to take place in May 2012, at the same time as elections for the Palestinian parliament and the PLO’s Palestine National Council.
Hamas sources said no decision has yet been made by the organization’s leadership, but most senior Hamas officials lean toward forgoing the presidential ballot and running only in the parliamentary election. Yet Hamas is thought to have a decent chance of winning a presidential race, because PA President Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly said he will not run for reelection.
Marwan Barghouti, the most senior Fatah prisoner being held by Israel, has said he plans on running to replace Abbas. But since he is still in prison, it is not clear whether he will be able to do so.
A Hamas victory in the presidential election could put the organization into a difficult political and diplomatic position, as Israel might well not allow a Hamas president to act freely, and might even arrest him.
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