Ma'an News Agency
August 21, 2009 - 12:00am

Bethlehem – Ma’an – The three appointed members of the Fatah Central Committee will be a woman, a Christian and a Gazan, a member of the party’s governing body, Muhammad Shtayeh, revealed Wednesday.

Shtayeh spoke alongside other Central Committee members Sultan Abul Enen, Tawfiq At-Tirawi, as well as Fatah Revolutionary Council members Fahmi Az-Za’arir, Tawfiq Abu Khoseh and Muhammad Taha during an interview on Ma’an Radio Network. It was the first time Central Committee and Revolutionary Council members spoke to the public in such a format since the election results were announced on 12 August.

The message from the show’s guests was clear: the Central Committee is fixed, and will take as its program the next round of unity talks in Cairo. “Gaza will not be regained unless there are [national] elections and a national dialogue and not the dialogue of the deaf,” members repeated was the slogan of the committee.

“The members of the Central Committee were perfectly chosen,” Shtayeh said, “but it lacks the presence of a woman,” prompting members to seek out a female to be appointed to one of the three remaining seats. The body was set to have 18 elected members and four appointed, but an elections upset saw an alleged tie for 18th place, so the elected members were bumped up to 19, with three to be appointed.

Lebanon’s Secretary of the Fatah party Abul Enein was also resolute around the composition of the party’s governing body, saying “[those] who accepted the inputs should accept the outputs.”

For his part, At-Tirawi addressed the perception of disagreements between Fatah’s leadership and the security services, saying they were a thing of the past.

A last-minute recount altered the results of the Central Committee election, encouraging speculation that the vote-count had been tainted. In the final results, a member of President Mahmoud Abbas’ inner circle, At-Tayib Abdul Rahim, 19th place to 16th, guaranteeing him a place in the governing body.

Other members of the Fatah establishment, including top peace negotiator Ahmad Quriea, who was voted off the Committee, suggested that the election had been rigged.


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