Erekat: Dissolving 'parliament' in line with transition to state

PLO official: Court decision that dissolved Palestinian “parliament” goes hand in hand with the transition into the “State of Palestine”.

Elad Benari ,

Saeb Erekat
Saeb Erekat
Abir Sultan/Flash 90

Saeb Erekat, Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said on Sunday that the recent Constitutional Court’s decision that dissolved the Palestinian “parliament” goes hand in hand with efforts of transition from the period of the Palestinian Authority (PA) into the “State of Palestine” period, the Wafa news agency reported.

Speaking in Ramallah on Saturday, PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas announced he intended to dissolve the largely defunct Palestinian “parliament”, which is controlled by Hamas, following a court decision ordering the move.

Abbas did not say when the Ramallah-based Palestinian Constitutional Court issued the ruling that includes holding elections within six months of the Palestinian Legislative Council being dissolved.

Hamas on Sunday blasted Abbas’ announcement, saying in a statement it rejected the decision by a court created by Abbas "to legitimize his arbitrary decisions."

Erekat told the Voice of Palestine radio that “the [PLO] Central Council formed a supreme committee preparing to move to the stage of statehood by determining the relationship with Israel, the United States and Hamas.”

He called for holding general elections for a constituent assembly of the “State of Palestine”, as well as presidential elections, especially at a time that “Palestine” has become a legal figure in the United Nations.

He also called for changing the status quo and for achieving national reconciliation to “thwart the Deal of the Century”, as the peace plan being prepared by the Trump administration has come to be known. The deal, claimed Erekat, seeks to establish a state in Gaza, and self-rule in Judea and Samaria.

The PA parliament has not met since 2007, when Hamas violently seized control of the Gaza from Abbas’ Fatah faction, but PA law allows for its speaker to act as interim president should 83-year-old Abbas die in office.

Hamas and Fatah have been at odds since the 2007 coup and all attempts to reconcile the warring sides have failed.

Fatah and Hamas signed a reconciliation deal last October, under which the PA was to have resumed full control of Gaza by December of that year.

That deadline was initially put back by 10 days and had later reportedly hit “obstacles”. It has never been implemented and is one of many attempts that have failed over the years to ease the tensions between the two groups.

Abbas' term as PA chairman was meant to expire in 2009, but he has remained in office in the absence of elections.