The world is riveted on events in Ukraine, where fraud in the recent election has been alleged, and hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have engaged in peaceful protests. Meanwhile, another election is going forward: to choose a successor to Yasser Arafat as President of the Palestine National Authority. Former Prime Minister and current PLO Chairman Mahmud Abbas emerged as the clear front-runner when a popular rival, Marwan Barghouti, withdrew from the race yesterday and threw his support to Abbas. Barghouti is currrently serving a prison term for mass murder, which caused logistical difficulties for his campaign.
The photo below shows a campaign rally for Chairman Abbas, which took place earlier today in Nablus:
I get the feeling that the Palestinians still don’t quite have the hang of this democracy thing. The world pretty clearly has lower expectations of the forthcoming election among the Palestinians than of the just-completed election in Ukraine. It’s interesting to consider why this is.
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