The day after Abbas - Opinion

The day after Abbas

Posted: Wednesday, March 14, 2018 11:26 am

Talk is rife again that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas may be in his final days or weeks in office. Abbas turns 83 this month and is reported to have health problems. His four-year term as president of the Palestinian Authority expired nine years ago. His hospitalization last month at Johns Hopkins hospital in Baltimore gave fuel to rumors that Abbas has cancer.

Abbas, never a strongman or charismatic leader, has nevertheless played his weak hand quite well. He has dominated West Bank politics. He’s sidelined potential opponents and has refused to designate a successor who could ease him out the door. As such, a leadership struggle is sure to follow Abbas’ resignation or death. It will pit younger, emerging leaders against veterans, and several potential strongmen against each other.

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