Fatah Lists May Merge

The two rival Fatah lists for the Palestinian Authority's parliamentary elections are likely to merge and run as a single list, Palestinian sources said yesterday.

Though the Palestinian Central Elections Commission refused yesterday to reopen the candidate lists, which officially closed last week, this decision was appealed to the PA's special electoral court, and Palestinian sources predicted that the judges would approve reopening the lists.

According to the sources, the two lists will merge according to the terms laid out by Marwan Barghouti in a letter from his Israeli jail cell on Wednesday. Barghouti, who heads the breakaway list set up by Fatah's "young guard," demanded that Fatah's national slate be composed of all the movement's first-time candidates, while ministers, veteran legislators and members of Fatah's Revolutionary Council would serve as the movement's regional candidates. Under the PA election law, half the parliament will be elected in national elections and half in regional races.