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Jailed Palestinian leader's alliance could deal Fatah blow at ballot boxes

Marwan Barghouti and Nasser al-Qudwa's popularity present a serious challenge to President Mahmoud Abbas' ruling Fatah party, and could have implications that go beyond the legislative elections.
Palestinian West Bank Fatah leader Marwan Barghuti flanked by Israeli guards walks into a Tel Aviv court 20 May 2004.

RAMALLAH, West Bank — Jailed Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti has teamed up with Nasser al-Qudwa, a top official who was dismissed from the Fatah party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, for an alliance in the upcoming legislative elections. The two, who are among Fatah's most popular figures, are challenging their own movement in a move that could lay the foundations of a new era in Palestinian politics.

The deadline to register electoral lists for the upcoming elections, set for May 22, came at midnight on March 31, with 36 lists submitted to the Central Elections Committee.  

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