Palestinian president Abbas re-elected as Fatah leader
November 29 2016 05:53 PM
Palestinian - Abbas
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during the opening session of Fatah congress in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Tuesday.

AFP/Ramallah

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas was re-elected leader of his Fatah party on Tuesday during the movement's first congress in seven years, a Fatah spokesman said.
The 81-year-old was reappointed to head Fatah, the largest and oldest Palestinian movement, in a vote "by consensus," spokesman Mahmud Abu al-Hija said at a news conference.
Since the death of long-time leader Yasser Arafat in 2004, Abbas has also headed the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), the internationally recognised entity representing all Palestinians.
Many analysts suggest Abbas will seek to use the five-day Fatah congress that opened Tuesday to strengthen his position and marginalise opponents.
He is unpopular with the Palestinian public -- according to a recent poll, most Palestinians want him to resign -- and faces challenges within his party.
His term as president of the Palestinian Authority, which began in January 2005, expired in 2009 but he remains in place as elections have not been held.
Divisions between Fatah, which controls the West Bank, and Islamist Hamas, which holds Gaza, remain deep.

Last updated: November 29 2016 05:53 PM


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