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Police colonel to run against Arafat

By SAUD ABU RAMADAN

GAZA, July 5 (UPI) -- A Palestinian police colonel announced Friday that he intends to run to replace Yasser Arafat as president of the Palestinian people in January elections.

Col. Faris Hasouna, a 48-year-old refugee from Al Bureij refugee camp in the Gaza Strip issued a statement saying that he seek election as president of the Palestinian people. Arafat has been president since the Palestinians' last election in 1996 but has not announced whether he will seek re-election.

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Hasouna is the fourth Palestinian to stand for election since Arafat declared on May 15 that he is intending to carry out reforms within the Palestinian Authority civil and security institutions.

Arafat also announced that parliamentarian, presidential and municipal elections for Gaza and the West Bank. The announcement of a January election date came shortly after, but the Palestinians said was unrelated to, President George Bush calling for a change in the Palestinian leadership.

"The chances have to be given to a new generation of Palestinians to lead the Palestinian people and to look for a new strategy of running the conflict with Israel," Hasouna told United Press International.

Hasouna said that his platform would be based on keeping the Palestinian national principle and that no Palestinian has the right "to make concessions without the acceptance of the Palestinian national consensus."

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"In case I win in the elections, the first thing I would do is to announce that all decrees and decisions made by Arafat will be canceled especially the changes into the security apparatuses," said Hasouna.

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