Even as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas keeps on keeping on at the age of 81, Palestinians remain preoccupied with the question of who will succeed him. In a recent reminder of the lack of a leading candidate for succession, Abbas was admitted earlier this month to Ramallah Hospital for an emergency heart catheterization after experiencing chest pains. He emerged with a clean bill of health.
The “race” to replace Abbas has been on for years. Some of the candidates mentioned include the exiled Mohammed Dahlan, the former head of the Preventive Security Force in the Gaza Strip; Jibril Rajoub, the former head of the Preventive Security Force in the West Bank; and Majid Faraj, the head of the General Intelligence Service. They all enjoy broad influence in the Palestinian arena. These days, diplomat and politician Nasser al-Qudwa is being mentioned more frequently in the Palestinian media as a potential successor. Although Qudwa entered the race without much notice, he has all the political and personal qualifications to make him a credible candidate for the highest position in the Palestinian Authority (PA).