Abbas battles Fatah party discord ahead of Palestinian elections

By Ali Sawafta and Rami Ayyub RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) – Facing elections for the first time in 15 years, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is battling a growing rift within his powerful Fatah party that poses a new threat to his dominance over Palestinian politics. A breakaway bid by one of Abbas’s party allies has intensified speculation he might cancel a presidential vote planned for July, fearing a potential challenge by Marwan Barghouti, a popular Palestinian leader jailed by Israel. Abbas’s office denies he has plans to delay or scrub the presidential vote. Barghouti, now 61, was …

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