Barghouti is will run in upcoming Palestinian Authority presidency, source close to the imprisoned uprising leader says

Saturday, November 13th 2004, 10:34 am
By: News On 6

JERUSALEM (AP) _ Imprisoned uprising leader Marwan Barghouti has decided to run for president in upcoming Palestinian elections, a source close to the popular politician said Saturday.

Barghouti, widely seen as the strongest candidate to replace Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, will only bow out of the race if his ruling Fatah movement selects a different candidate in internal voting, the source said on condition of anonymity. That is unlikely as Fatah is not expected to hold a primary.

Barghouti's wife, Fadwa, said she was unaware of her husband's plans.

Under Palestinian law, elections are to be held within two months to find a successor to Arafat, who died Thursday. The Palestinian parliament speaker, Rauhi Fattouh, was sworn in as interim president hours after Arafat's death.

Barghouti is serving multiple life terms in an Israeli prison after being convicted of involvement in terrorism. Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom told reporters this week that Barghouti ``will remain in prison for the rest of his life because he's a murderer.''