PFLP endorses independent candidate Mustafa

Agence France Presse

PFLP endorses independent candidate Mustafa Barghuti in Palestinian election

Agence France Presse 29 December 2004

GAZA CITY Dec 29– The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) called on supporters Wednesday to vote for the independent candidate Mustafa Barghuti in next month’s Palestinian presidential election.

The endorsement, which was announced at a press conference in Gaza City, will increase the likelihood of Barghuti finishing runner-up to PLO chairman Mahmud Abbas in the January 9 poll to succeed the late Yasser Arafat as head of the Palestinian Authority.

“We are appealing to our members, cadres and supporters to support

the candidacy of Mustafa Barghuti and vote for him,” Rabah Muhanna,

a member of the leftist organisaton’s politburo, told reporters.

The PFLP, which boycotted the only previous presidential election in

1996, had announced in November that it would participate this time

round but would not be presenting a candidate.

Barghuti, 51, a democracy and human rights activist, has been running a distant second to Abbas who is the candidate of the dominant Fatah faction.

Abbas’ path to victory was effectively cleared when the radical Islamist movement Hamas announced that it was boycotting the ballot and the jailed intifada leader Marwan Barghuti (no relation) dropped out of the race.

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