Sunday, January 15, 2012

Happy Anniversary Abbas--In Office Three Years Since His Term Ended!

Abbas's term as President expired 15 January 2009, since then Aziz Duwaik has been recognised as President by the Haniyeh government in the Gaza Strip, while Abbas is recognised as President by the Fayyad government in the West Bank.

In "The Palestinians' Imaginary State", Steven Rosen explains that a Palestinian state is not the only thing that is imaginary--Mahmoud Abbas's term as president of "Palestine" ended 3 years ago:

Mahmoud Abbas is presenting himself as the president of the Palestine that is pressing the claim in the U.N. General Assembly, but he is not considered to be the president anymore by Hamas, the largest political party in the putative state. And Hamas has Palestine's own laws on its side in this dispute. Abbas was elected in 2005 to serve until January 2009, so his term has expired. In 2009, he unilaterally extended his term for another year until January 2010 (an extension that also has expired), but that extension did not adhere to Article 65 of the Palestinian constitution, the Basic Law. Hamas, which controls a majority in the now defunct Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), opposed the extension. According to Article 65 of the Basic Law, the legally empowered president of Palestine, since January 2009, has been PLC Speaker Abdel Aziz Dweik, a deputy representing Hamas. Palestine's ruling party, Hamas, considers Dweik, not Abbas, to be the legal president of Palestine, and it has a strong case.
Even The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights and International Foundation for Electoral Systems agree at the very least that Abbas's term ended in January 2009.

This of course may explain the ease with which Abbas has threatened to resign

December 4, 2010
Abbas threatens to dissolve PA
Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, has said that if no peace deal can be agreed with Israel and the international community does not approve a Palestinian state, he may dissolve his governing body.

Abbas said in a television interview on Friday that if Israel continued to build settlements on occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank, leading to the beakdown of peace talks, the Palestinian Authority (PA), that provides limited autonomy for the territory, would be disbanded.

"I cannot accept to remain the president of an authority that doesn't exist," he said.
Interesting way of putting it since the presidency itself does not exist.

Here are other threatened resignations:

November 10, 2009
Palestinian Authority’s Future Is in Question

Jan 17, 2008

June 12, 2007

February 26, 2006

30 January 2006

January 25, 2006
Abbas is "a touchy man of dark moods, who often threatens to quit, as he quit as prime minister after four months in 2003 when Mr. Arafat did not allow him enough power."

Jan 17, 2006

December 16, 2005

March 30, 2005

Wed 09 Sep 2003

Thursday, September 4, 2003

Aug. 21, 2003

July 9, 2003

April 08, 2003

One gets the distinct impression that Abbas does not take his office as president very seriously.
And now, on the 3rd anniversary of the end of his term as president, we are once again reminded why.

Footnote--it is interesting that the way Wikipedia puts it, the "Fayyad government" recognizes Abbas as president.

As Rosen notes:
Hamas denies that Abbas has the authority to appoint Salam Fayyad as prime minister, because Abbas is not legally the president of Palestine under Article 65 and because Fayyad has not been empowered as prime minister by the Palestinian Legislative Council as required by Article 66 of the Basic Law. Neither his first appointment, on June 15, 2007, nor his reappointment on May 19, 2009, was confirmed by the PLC as required. Hamas, which controls the majority in the PLC, considers the legal prime minister of the Palestinian Authority to continue to be Ismail Haniyeh, a senior political leader of Hamas. Haniyeh was empowered by the PLC to be prime minister of Palestine in February 2006. Abbas dismissed Haniyeh from the office on June 14, 2007, after the Gaza coup, but Haniyeh counters that this decree violated articles 45, 78, and 83 and that he continues to exercise prime ministerial authority under Article 83. The PLC also continues to recognize Haniyeh's authority as prime minister. Here again, Hamas has the law on its side.
And so it goes.

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