Hamas Sparks Bitter Note Over Abbas Succession and Absence

Published June 27th, 2018 - 09:22 GMT
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Hamas sparked the battle over the successor of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas by declaring that Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council Aziz Duwaik will succeed him in case of his absence, in accordance with the Basic Law of the Palestinian Authority.

Abbas’ Fatah movement responded by saying that Duwaik is no longer at the head of the “illegal” council, hinting that it will take firm decisions over the matter.

Duwaik, himself, argued that in case the president was unable to carry out his duties or was absent under any excuse or circumstance or in case of his death, the next president shall be the head of the Legislative Council, in accordance with the law and the constitution.

“I am now the speaker of the Legislative Council, and, therefore, I or anyone else holding this position will be the next president,” he told SAMA local news agency.

Duwaik warned that chaos will prevail if the Palestinian Authority (PA) and its constituents bypass the Palestinian constitution and the Basic Law. He called on all the parties to respect the law and constitution and avoid violating them otherwise chaos will prevail.

According to the Basic Law, the president of the Legislative Council shall assume the presidency of the PA temporarily, in case of any compulsory absence by the president, for a period not exceeding 60 days during which presidential elections will be held.

In 2004, when former President Yasser Arafat died, his successor, Rawhi Fattouh, replaced him before the Palestinians voted for Abbas to become president of the PA.

However, a legal and political dispute persists between Fatah and Hamas over the dissolved Legislative Council and its presidency.

Hamas insists that Duwaik is the head of the council, while Fatah says that his tenure had ended and that a new president must be elected.

Moreover, the council has been inactive for some 10 years now and its fate must be decided through the Palestinian Central Council.

Head of Fatah’s Information Department in the Office of Mobilization and Organization Munir al-Jaghoub told Asharq Al-Awsat that Duwaik is fully aware that he is no longer Speaker of the Legislative Council.

“His term ended in 2007 and has not been renewed.”

“The matter of the presidency of the Legislative Council is currently legally void because a new session of the Council is required at the invitation of the president. The Council did not convene, and its chairmanship was not renewed,” he explained.
This article has been adapted from its original source.

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