Arab parties Hadash and Balad reelect Bishara, Barakeh (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Yair Ettinger, Ha´aretz Correspondent and Ha´aretz Service 11/30/02 19:20)
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MK Dr. Azmi Bishara was reelected to head the Balad (National
Democratic Alliance) party, and MK Mohammed Barkeh was reelected to
head the Hadash party in primaries held by both Arab parties to
select their candidates for the Knesset.
In the elections held in A´avlin, in the lower Galilee, some 400
members of the Hadash central committee selected the first six
candidates to appear on the left-wing party´s list of candidates.
Polls indicate that Hadash will not increase its current number of
three Knesset members in the January 28 general election, and may
MK Issam Makhoul won the second slot in the candidates list. Tel Aviv
lawyer Dov Chenin won the third slot, after competing for it against
the chairman of the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee, Shawqi Khatib,
who announced his candidacy on Thursday, a day after Tamar Gozansky
announced her decision to retire from the Knesset.
Khatib is the first chairman of the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee
to seek a Knesset seat in the 20-year history of the advocacy
organization for Israel´s Arab minority. "My race for the Knesset is
not the precedent," Khatib told Ha´aretz on Thursday. "The precedent
was my selection as chairman of the Monitoring Committee despite my
Khatib, who also chairs the council of Arab local authority leaders,
has been considering a Knesset bid for some time and signed up for
the race just before the Wednesday night deadline.
Hadash activists said Thursday that they expect a close race between
Khatib and Chenin for the third slot on the party list. Khatib enjoys
prestige as the chairman of the Monitoring Committee, while Chenin is
a central figure in both Hadash and Israel´s Communist Party (Maki),
which is the dominant component in Hadash.
MK Bishara was elected to head the Balad Knesset list after his
victory was secured due to the fact that his leadership is
undisputed. Dr. Jamal Zhalka, a resident of Kafr Kara and one of
Balad´s founders, was elected for the second slot on the list. Riad
Anis from Umm al Fahm also competed for the second slot.
The elections for the Balad and Hadash Knesset candidate lists are
the opening shot for the negotiations to unite the Arab lists. MK
Ahmed Tibi, the chairman of Ta´al (Arab Movement for Renewal) hopes
to reach a unity agreement with Hadash or Ra´am, while MK Mohammed
Kanan, the chairman of the United Arab List, announced Friday that he
was also holding negotiations with Ra´am. (© Copyright 2002 Ha´aretz
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