Mahmoud Abbas won Palestinian presidency

.. as expected, after garnering a share of the popular vote in the high 60s [The Scotsman]. Turnout seems to be a bit low though – voting was extended, after apparently only 30% of voters have voted by noon [NYTimes], though later reports [Reuters] claim that the final turnout was above 60%.

Both Hamas and the runner-up Mustafa Barghouti seem to be satisfied with the results, so hopefully (whether the final turnout figure was inflated or not) there is now a mandate for Abbas to pursue peace talks with Israel, streamline the security services and dissuade militant groups from launching terror attacks.

*Update* 05:47 PM – The Head Heeb has a more detailed report; correspondents on the ground reported heavy turnout, so it has been a successful election after all. Congratulations to election organizers, observers and last but not least, voters!

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