Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Hamas Boycotts Meeting of Palestinian Legislature


JERUSALEM — The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, convened the Palestinian legislature today, but a boycott by the Hamas party meant there was no quorum, which was precisely what Mr. Abbas wanted. With parliament unable to transact business, he can extend the life of the emergency cabinet that he appointed after Hamas fighters took control of the Gaza Strip....

If the legislature is unable to convene, Mr. Abbas may be able to declare the government a “caretaker,” to hold power until new elections can be held. Hamas has said it will not allow new elections to take place before January 2010, when the regular term of four years will be over, and Mr. Abbas has already backed down once, after announcing last December that emergency elections would be held.

An aide to Mr. Abbas said the president is also considering dissolving the legislature and making the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which Fatah controls, the caretaker parliament. ...And in any event, in Fatah’s struggle with Hamas, legal niceties are not being observed by either side, and the debate over what is or is not allowed in the flawed basic law is seen as essentially academic. ...

An independent legislator, Hanan Ashrawi, said: “We are in deep crisis. We cannot continue in this manner. Elections are the only way out of this dangerous constitutional crisis.”

Comment would be superfluous, and probably fatuous.

No comments: