Canceled West Bank vote affirms Fatah decline

Abbas' Fatah Party in disarray, afraid of election even with main rival, Hamas, out of picture

AP News

Jun 19, 2010 07:30 EDT

The Palestinian party expected to help deliver a Mideast peace deal is in such disarray these days, it's afraid to compete in an election even with its main rival out of the picture.

Next month's municipal balloting in the West Bank should have handed an easy victory to the Western-backed Fatah movement since its bitter competitor, the Islamic militant Hamas, decided to sit out the race. However, with strong signs that independents were poised to win in key towns, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Fatah's leader, called off the election at the last minute.