The deputy chairman of the Fatah movement’s Central Committee led by President Mahmoud Abbas has warned of the declining popularity of the secular Palestinian faction, agencies reported on Wednesday. Speaking to journalists in Ramallah, Mahmoud Al-Aloul blamed the decline on Fatah’s adoption of peace process with Israel and failing to fulfil promises.
“I can tell you there is something of a decline in Fatah’s presence among the masses,” he said. “Fatah adopted peaceful means, and made promises to the public, but it has not been able to deliver on them. This is an essential part of what has led to a decline in Fatah’s popularity.”
Aloul, 72, is one of the most senior Fatah officials expected to succeed Abbas, although he hinted that he might not take up the leadership reins after Abbas. “We will look for someone from the younger generation,” he said.
In the 1996 parliamentary election, 89 per cent of Palestinian voters voted for Fatah, which was then led by the late Yasser Arafat. However, under Abbas, Fatah had only 41.43 per cent of the votes in the 2006 election, whereas rival faction Hamas won 44.45 per cent.
A recent poll by the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research found that if a legislative election was held today, just 35 per cent of people would vote for Fatah.