Palestinian officials say jailed uprising leader Marwan Barghouti has dropped plans to run for president.

Officials from the main Fatah faction Friday said Palestinian cabinet minister Kadoura Fares had visited Barghouti in his Israeli prison to dissuade him from running in the January 9 poll.

The officials say Mr. Fares' message was that Barghouti's participation in the race could threaten the unity of Fatah and the success of the vote to elect a successor to the late Yasser Arafat.

Fatah has chosen former Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas as its presidential candidate.  Barghouti had previously said he would not run if Fatah nominated Mr. Abbas.

Barghouti is a popular Palestinian politician. He is serving five life sentences in an Israeli prison for the murder of five people. 

Some information provided by Reuters and AP.