This week, John Young and Johayna Marlow of the Middle East Project bring you a special program on the upcoming presidential election in Palestine. It seems as if every major broadcast network and news organization is intent upon portraying the election as free and fair. The reality is that the US, the UK, and Israel are working very hard behind the scenes to insure the installation of one man in to the presidency. Mahmoud Abbas is the only candidate being given unimpeded access to his constituents and to the voting public, as well as to world political leaders and the media. The other candidates are being prevented from campaigning freely: their movements are severely restricted and they face constant harassment as they attempt to campaign around their country.
Tonight we examine this historic election process more closely. We feature exclusive interviews with Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, one of the leading candidates who joins us from the election trail, and with journalist Anne Gwynne in Nablus in the company of four Nabulsi residents who share with us their hopes and fears for the New Year and the New Government they are Duha Khuffash, Raed Muhsen, Nawwal Hammidan and Fayruz abu Darkh. We are also joined in the studio by Professor Hatem Bazian of the University of California at Berkeleys Near Eastern Studies Department – himself a Nablusi in exile. Dr. Bazian gives a lucid analysis of the election process and the issues confronting any new leader.
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