Monday, January 16, 2006

Abbas decides not to run again


Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly will not seek office again after his current term ends in three years.

"I will just complete my remaining three years in office. I will not run again. That is absolute," Abbas was quoted as saying by Palestinian newspapers, reports the BBC. Abbas, who succeeded the late Yasser Arafat, has been in office for about a year.

Abbas also said he is ready to work with Ehud Olmert, the acting leader of Israel in place of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon who is in hospital after suffering a stroke about two weeks ago. "I have dealt with him and I know him well," Abbas said about Olmert. "He has his positions and his views but we will deal with him without any preconceptions."

Palestinian parliamentary polls later this month are expected to reveal strong support for Hamas, the main political rival to Abbas' Fatah party, the BBC report said