Palestinian Factions Slam PA, Refuse to Participate in National Council Meeting

Palestinian Factions Slam PA, Refuse to Participate in National Council Meeting

Tuesday, 13 March, 2018 - 10:15
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. (Reuters)
Ramallah – Asharq Al-Awsat
Palestinian factions slammed an upcoming Ramallah-held national council meeting as unconstitutional, refusing to participate in the sessions that are aimed at electing a new executive body for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

Hamas renewed its refusal to convene the council without consensus, calling for a national salvation session instead.

In addition, it said that convening with the current council structure conflicts with national consensus, and oversteps recently announced agreements and understandings.

The group instead called for the internal political crisis to be resolved by rebuilding PLO institutions, “based on democratic foundations,” and halting to unilateral actions.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will convene the legislative body of the PLO, the umbrella organization recognized by the international community as the official voice of the Palestinian people.

The Palestinian National Council is slated to hold a rare meeting on April 30 in order to elect new members to the PLO’s Executive Committee, which has been dominated by Abbas and his allies since 2004.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) joined Hamas in opposing the meeting.

Zulfiqar Sweirjo, PFLP member of the Central Committee, declared that his party will not take part in the meeting.

He stressed the PFLP upholds unity when it comes to PLO representation and will not play any role in any other organization.

The PFLP backed holding the council meeting abroad so that all sides could attend, but Fatah pushed for holding it at home.

The National Council had issued invitations to both Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, but both parties refused.

In response, the PLO’s Executive Committee contended in its own press release that it continues to work towards the implementation of the latest reconciliation agreement signed in October in Cairo.

Abbas insisted on convening the council, because of the need to elect a PLO Executive Committee, which is the highest leadership form for Palestinian people at home and abroad.

He also sees it as a last step for a "smooth transition" of power in the event of any forced absence on his part.

Moreover, he wants to elect a new committee in a move to secure future transition of power, well-informed Palestinian sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.

They said that the election of a new committee will mean getting rid of people and pushing others to form a new and strong leadership.

Editor Picks