On his knees, Qannam reacts to winning “The President” during the show’s finale in Ramallah. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)
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The winner of this "election" for Palestinian president was a 24-year-old lawyer from East Jerusalem who defeated two contenders also from the occupied West Bank. But this was reality television – not real life – and the vote came on a TV show called "The President" that is meant to educate young Palestinians about politics. In reality, Palestinians haven't had a chance to cast an actual ballot for president in over a decade.The last time the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip elected a leader was in January 2005, when current President Mahmoud Abbas won by a large margin.All are active in Abbas' Fatah party.The goal was to give young Palestinians an opportunity to practice running for office and voting for a candidate.Suheir Rasul, the group's local co-director, said the show was the only place where Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza and many other places can vote.Raed Othman, the program's spokesman, said 1,180 Palestinians ages 20 to 40 applied.Abbas was elected in January 2005 for what was supposed to be a five-year term.The Palestinian economy is stagnant, and polls have indicated two-thirds of Palestinians want Abbas to resign.
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