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.
I have written before about Abbas and the fact that this past January 15 marked the third anniversary of Abbas having continued in office years after his term has ended--and without any elections in sight.
Yet I had no idea that Abbas was actually on the verge of breaking a record--a record set by Yasir Arafat, no less.
Rick Richman writes that Palestinian “President” Nears Record:
Next week, Mahmoud Abbas will enter the 92nd month of his 48-month term, and now has Yasser Arafat’s record in sight. Arafat was elected president of the Palestinian Authority in 1996, running essentially unopposed (his opponent was a 72-year old woman with no political party). In 2004, in the ninth year of his four-year term, he left office on account of death. His second-in-command was elected president less than two months later, running essentially unopposed (Hamas boycotted the election). Abbas is now midway through the eighth year of his own four-year term, almost certain to break Arafat’s record if he can just stay healthy.Read the whole thing.
And yet in spite, or perhaps in recognition of, Abbas's dubious achievement, Mahmoud Abbas is welcomed around the world as the president of the Palestinian Arabs who have not elected him. He continues as the president emeritus of the Palestinians, serving in violation of the Constitution according to which neither Abbas nor Prime Minister Fayyad should be in the political positions they now hold.
While the Palestinian Arabs may have gotten the idea of what it means to be democratically elected, they have not quite caught onto the idea of being democratically re-elected.
That makes it all the more ironic that this "virtual" president plans to go to the UN and gain recognition for a "virtual" Palestinian state--one so sunk in its incompetence and corruption that the World Bank noted the reliance of the Palestinian Authority on donations renders it incapable of sustaining a state.
If longevity of term without election were an Olympic event, Abbas would be the Palestinian favorite.
But it isn't.
The Palestinian Arabs are fed up with the suppression of human rights and free speech under Abbas and the fact that nations the world over continue to respect the petty despot of the Palestinian Arabs does not speak well of Western democracies either.
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