Ruling Fatah Party faces harsh reality check in West Bank municipal elections

Peace and Freedom

Running virtually unopposed, Mahmoud Abbas’ ruling Fatah Party has strolled to victory in West Bank municipal elections. Seeking to renew its legitimacy, the win was marred by a low turnout and lackluster support.

Mahmoud Abbas (picture alliance/AP Photo/R.Adayleh)

After the Islamic Hamas movement confirmed it would boycott the vote, Saturday’smunicipal elections across the West Bank were always going to serve as a litmus test for President Mahmoud Abbas (pictured) and his Fatah Party’s popularity.

Although it won easily, the Fatah Party’s poor showing as results were released on Sunday reflected public discontent towards Abbas. The West Bank has for years been marred by a weak economy, while Abbas has allegedly allowed nepotism to flourish within his party’s ranks and failed to move the Palestinian Territories any closer to independence after more than 10 years at the helm.

Although Saturday’s vote was the first legislative election in the West Bank in over a decade, turnout…

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