Mahmoud Abbas, just like his predecessor, is using strong arm tactics to insure his reign at the top continues. In response, Abbas is getting lambasted by civil rights activists and other lawmakers. But the worst outcome is the protest vote for Hamas, which, despite all its flaws (you know being a bunch of murderous thugs) is not corrupt. Hamas gains support partly by at least having the veneer of honesty and by providing social services.
So what is Fatah going to do about their sad chances in next month's election? Cancel elections and blame Israel.
"Less than a month before parliamentary elections, all indications are that Abbas's Fatah is headed for disaster. That's why many Fatah leaders, including Abbas, are praying for a miracle that would provide them with a good excuse to postpone the vote. Their biggest hope is that Israel will launch a major military offensive just before the election or ban Arab residents of Jerusalem from voting.
As one senior Fatah put it this week, "It would look better in the eyes of the world if we could hold Israel responsible for disrupting the democratic process."
The more things change, the more they stay the same.