PFLP, DFLP factions to run in Palestinian elections
Published March 22nd 2005 in The Peninsula

GAZA CITY: The left-wing Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) announced yesterday that they would run in parliamentary elections due this July.

“The PFLP has decided to stand in the forthcoming elections after what was agreed in Cairo,” said Rabah Muhanna, a member of the faction’s politburo. Presided over by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, all 13 major Palestinian factions agreed to extend an informal truce until the end of the year after three days of top-level talks in the Egyptian capital last week.

The Cairo talks also yielded an agreement to amend Palestinian electoral law to establish a proportional party-list system for the upcoming legislative polls and the next two rounds of municipal elections in April and August.

The amendment was a compromise between those calling for proportional representation, such as the PFLP, and those advocating constituent-based polls, such as the mainstream Fatah party.

“The DFLP supports a mixed system and as a result we are going to participate in the elections,” said politburo member Ramzi Rabah.

In 1996, the two groups boycotted the last elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council, which is heavily dominated by Fatah, but they contest municipal votes.

On March 12, radical Islamist faction Hamas also announced it would stand in the July vote, ending a long-standing boycott of mainstream political life.

Meanwhile, Hamas and Fatah leaders yesterday called upon Arab officials meeting in algeria to extend more political and financial support to the Palestinians. 'We call on the Arab countries to stand on the side of the Palestinian people and add their support to them in their battle for liberation and independence,' a Hamas statement published here said today.