Mahmoud Abbas will return to the West Bank on Thursday ahead of the first Palestinian elections to be held in 15 years.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is in good health and will return to the occupied West Bank on Thursday after a medical examination abroad less than two months before the scheduled Palestinian election.
The news came from Wednesday’s presidential office as the 85-year-old leader fly to Germany on monday for routine checkup.
Abbas has attended public events in recent days and shows no sign of him being ill. He also received his first shipment of coronavirus vaccine last month.
However, the longtime Palestinian leader is a heavy smoker and has a history of heart disease. In 2018, he was also hospitalized for pneumonia, while being treated in the United States during a visit to the United Nations Security Council in the same year.
The Abbas medical examination came weeks before the first Palestinian polls in 15 years were conducted. Legislative elections are scheduled for May 22, with a presidential vote scheduled for July 31.
The Palestinians have not held a vote since 2006, when the Hamas group won a resounding victory in parliamentary elections. A year later, Hamas removed Abbas’ Fatah party forces from the Gaza Strip, leaving Abbas in control of Palestinian areas in the West Bank.
Abbas, who was elected president of the Palestinian Authority after his death Yasser Arafat 2004, has not yet announced whether he intends to run again.
His official duties ended in 2009 but he has been in power by decree ever since. He never chose a successor and some senior Fatah members are said to be keeping an eye on the position.
The secular Fatah Party, which controls the West Bank, is facing internal challenges from dissident factions, including the Liberal Organization. Nasser al-Qudwa, a nephew of the deceased Arafat.
Freedom has been endorsed by Marwan Barghouti, a prominent leader serving a life sentence in Israel on charges of organizing deadly attacks during the second Palestinian Intifada rebellion in 2000-05.
Abbas’s former Gaza chief of security, Mohammed Dahlan, who is currently in exile in Abu Dhabi, is also backing a list of challengers.
Former Prime Minister of Palestine Salam Fayyad |A former World Bank official with a track record of fighting corruption, is supporting his own team.