RAMALLAH, West Bank – Mahmoud Abbas was elected Palestinian Authority president by a wide margin Sunday, exit polls showed, giving him a decisive mandate to renew peace talks with Israel, rein in militants and try to end more than four years of Mideast bloodshed.
The victory of Abbas, who has spoken out against violence and has the backing of the international community, was expected to usher in a new era, after four decades of chaotic and corruption-riddled rule by Yasser Arafat who died Nov. 11.
Abbas has promised to reform the Palestinian Authority, overhaul the unwieldy Palestinian security services and quickly resume negotiations with Israel, stalled for four years.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox
Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.