(JNS.org) Conflicting reports have arisen over whether or not Mahmoud Abbas, who serves as both the president of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), will be a candidate in the upcoming elections for the PLO Executive Committee.
According to the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency, a senior Palestinian official said Abbas has no intention of running to maintain his post as PLO leader.
“Abu Mazen (Abbas) said that he wants to give a space for other factions to participate.…We asked him to think again, especially in this hard and serious period, and amid the effort by some people to get rid of him,” said Amin Maqbul, secretary-general of the Fatah Revolutionary Council.
In August, Abbas and 11 other senior Palestinian officials announced their resignation from the PLO Executive Committee. But according to a report in Haaretz, a senior Palestinian official said reports of Abbas’s retirement are premature. The official, however, conceded that Abbas feels “abandoned” by the United States government in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and is “seeking to leave.”
Meanwhile, reports indicate that Abbas will remain the president of the PA, a separate interim government established during the Oslo Accords to administer the West Bank and Gaza (the latter territory is now governed by Hamas).