On April 12, the Palestinian Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs, the Prisoners’ Club and the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) launched an international campaign to nominate Marwan Barghouti, who is a member of the Fatah Central Committee, for the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize. The campaign was launched in front of the council’s headquarters in Ramallah, on the 15th anniversary of Barghouti’s arrest on April 15, 2002. Barghouti, who had served as Fatah's secretary-general in the West Bank, was sentenced to five life terms and 40 additional years by Israel that accused him of being behind terrorist attacks by Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Fatah’s armed branch. This award would be the first prestigious accolade for Barghouti, should he win.
Barghouti had announced his candidacy for the presidency of the Palestinian Authortiy (PA) in the elections of 2005, only to withdraw on Nov. 27, 2004, following his meeting with Qaddoura Fares at Ohli Kedar Beersheba prison, who convinced him of the need to preserve the unity of the movement and to support Mahmoud Abbas instead. According to the law, Barghouti is entitled to run for the PA presidency despite being detained by Israel. According to Article 9 of Law No. 13 of 1995, in regard to the elections, the presidential candidate should be Palestinian, at least 35 years of age, registered in the voters’ list, have permanent residency in the region (by owning or leasing property) and fulfill the required conditions to exercise the right to vote. The candidate ought to also submit his candidacy application to the Central Elections Commission through a partisan body registered with the Elections Commission or any person whose name is on the voters’ list and fulfills these criteria.