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Fatah members continue to applaud sixth congress, elections

Aug. 22, 2009 10:13 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 23, 2009 12:22 P.M.)
Bethlehem – Ma’an – The youngest elected member of Fatah's Revolutionary Council, 38-year-old Jamal Nazzal, applauded what he called the "responsible election behavior of voters."

He said the Fatah Central Committee and Revolutionary Council elections were elected in "outwardly opposite trends."

In a Saturday interview with Ma’an, Nazzal said he was “happy because 14 of the people I voted for in the Central Committee elections won. As other voters, I voted for leaders who are not in harmony [with each other].”

The Central Committee elections caused early upsets as results were announced and only confirmed three days later after a recount was demanded by ousted former member Ahmad Qureia. While Qureia remained out of the Fatah party’s ruling body, an aide to President Mahmoud Abbas jumped three places in the rankings and made it into the committee after announcing his candidacy only the morning of the vote.

Initial reports of internal upset within Fatah at the elections results seemed likely to cause a split in the party, but Fatah members have resolutely supported the outcomes and initial criticism quickly died out.

“Personally, I voted for discordant trends [within the party] because I didn’t want any of the effective leaders to be out of the decision making cycle,” Nazzal explained, seemingly making sense of the often-at-odds leaders that now make up the central body.

“Diversity of Fatah members in terms of religion, social classes and political trends makes it a necessity to elect leaders representing all these diverse trends,” he added.

No women, Christians or Gazans still in the Strip were voted into the council. Later announcements from the party said members representing these groups would be appointed to the three remaining seats.

Nazzal applauded the Fatah congress decision that members of the movement’s Central Committee could not take any official governmental posts.

“Laws are like a house made of pieces of paper. It is enough to pull one piece to destroy the whole building. Violating the law starts with one single exclusion followed with another, then another until the whole law is lost,” Nazzal explained.
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