Palestinian militant Marwan Barghouti, imprisoned in Israel, has reversed himself and decided to seek the presidency of the Palestinian Authority.
Late last week, Barghouti, who is serving five life sentences for planning suicide attacks on Israeli civilians, said he would not run. But Wednesday his wife filed registration papers for the January 9 poll on behalf of her husband, a Fatah movement leader.
Analysts have warned that Barghouti's candidacy could split the Fatah organization and undermine its chosen candidate, interim leader Mahmoud Abbas. Mr. Abbas began his campaign for the presidency today, hours before the Barghouti announcement.
Earlier Wednesday, the radical Palestinian group Hamas said it will boycott the polls. The group said it will not nominate a presidential candidate because it rejects the 1993 treaty with Israel that created the Palestinian Authority.
Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.