PLC set to approve appointment of Abu Mazen as prime minister amid dispute regarding his powers
The Palestinian Legislative Council meets Monday in Ramallah to debate and approve the appointment of Mahmud Abbas (Abu Mazen), as prime minister of the Palestinian Authority.
The process is expected to take several days. But the debate and vote for the appointment will not be concluded until Abu Mazen and PA leader, Yasser Arafat conclude their negotiations over the composition of a new government. Abu Mazen has made clear he would not accept the position unless he is able to make the appointments he wants in the government.
“Palestinian president Yasser Arafat has not reached an agreement with the PLO second man, Mahmoud Abbas, Abu Mazen regarding the latter’s conditions for accepting the post as PA Prime Minister,” sources confirmed to Albawaba.com.
While Fatah movement proposed a compromise for the dispute between the two men, the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon welcomed the nomination of Abu Mazen for the post.
Abbas has reportedly put 20 conditions to be fulfilled before he accepts the offer.
Jerusalem representative at the Legislative Council, Hatem Abdel Qader reiterated to Albawaba.com that Fatah movement understood Abu Mazen’s silence as indicative of acceptance and added that he did not turn down the offer when Arafat nominated him. However, Abdel Qader, one of Fatah leaders, did not deny that Abu Mazen “was waiting to get the authorities”, he demanded out of his pursue of orientation rather than putting conditions.
Abdel Qader declined from commenting on the news reports that Abu Mazen submitted a list of 20 conditions concerning the powers he wanted to secure and said the Legislative Council would give him “balanced authorities.” He pointed out that such powers would neither make Abu Mazen a substitute for Arafat nor would they make him Arafat’s employee.
He also indicated that Fatah representatives at the Legislative Council were embarking on a compromise proposal to be submitted Monday to the Legislative Council. The proposal, according to him, will call for a Palestinian political system to be a combination of the French and Egyptian political systems.
It is important to mention that a Prime Minister in Egypt is an employee appointed by the president, while the Prime Minster in France is a partner of the president but falls short of being his deputy or substitute.
The proposal which has not been presented to Arafat or Abu Mazen, Abdel Qader said, aims at reaching a compromise so that each of the two will assume his responsibilities without dominating the other and in such a manner that Abu Mazen will never constitute a substitute for Arafat in future by any means.
Abdel Qader who participated in preparing the document pointed out that it says “the Prime Minister should be given extensive authorities at the internal level with the issues related to foreign policy and political management should be left in the hands of Arafat.”
Abdel Qader also denied the news reports that Fatah movement threatened to revolt against its leader Arafat, if Abu Mazen is not appointed Prime Minster. However, he did not deny that Fatah put pressure on Arafat saying “we put pressure because we constitute Fatah ‘family' and we want the Prime Minster to come from this family."
For his part, the Legislative Council member, Husam Khader, asserted the importance of the new post, but expressed his hope that Abu Mazen would be able to “take full authority from Arafat” so that the new post wouldn’t become a contributing factor to the exacerbation of internal problems. “Abu Mazen will not gamble with his long political history by accepting a nominal post,” Khader said.
Khader added “there is a consensus within Fatah on Abu Mazen and therefore Arafat cannot be peculiar.”
Khader ruled out the possibility of nominating other than Abu Mazen and described the reports about the nomination of the Palestinian businessman, Munib al Masri, as just a test balloon. “Munib al Masri was a balloon to test the Palestinian people and his nomination undermined him politically,” said Khader. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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