Friday, September 12, 2008

Will Olmert and Abbas Ever Leave?

The 2 weakest leaders in the Middle East both utilize unpopular means of prolonging their hold on power. In the case of Abbas:

The IDF Central Command has held a series of exercises in recent weeks to prepare units for possible violence in the West Bank after Mahmoud Abbas's presidential term ends in January.

Abbas is scheduled to complete his term on January 9. Under the current Palestinian constitution, without elections he will be succeeded by the speaker or deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council. Both men are senior members of Hamas.

"We need to be ready for every possible scenario," a senior IDF officer said. "We don't know what will happen but Hamas is strong, and if there is be a political vacuum in the PA, Fatah and Hamas could end up fighting against one another - and then against us."[emphasis added]

With no mechanism yet in place yet to provide for elections, what is the alternative? Abbas apparently goes Olmert one better in prolonging his stay in power:
Earlier this week, Palestinian media reported that Abbas plans to dissolve the PLC and set up an emergency government which would then extend his term for another year.
Will they ever leave?

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