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Abbas Pledges to Keep Palestinian PM Qureia

  • VOA News

The front-runner in the Palestinian presidential elections, Mahmoud Abbas, says if he wins, he will ask Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia to stay on and form a new government.

Mr. Abbas made the announcement at a news conference in the West Bank town of Ramallah on Friday, on the last day of campaigning before Sunday's election. Earlier, Israeli police briefly detained Mustafa Barghouti, who is running a distant second in the presidential race. Mr. Barghouti was on his way to Friday prayers at al-Aqsa mosque in occupied East Jerusalem. Israeli officials say they stopped him because campaigning is not allowed at the religious site. Speaking to Al-Arabiyah television, Mr. Barghouti denounced Israeli restrictions on campaigning in Jerusalem as a "rude and blatant interference in the democratic election process."

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