Monday, September 22, 2008

Hamas official: Abbas not to be legal president after Jan. 9

GAZA, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Interior Minister of the deposed government of Hamas in Gaza Said Siam said on Monday that after Jan. 9, 2009, President Mahmoud Abbas will not be the legal president of the Palestinians.
A new dispute between Fatah and Hamas has recently floated on the surface. Hamas said that on Jan. 9 next year, the presidential term of Abbas will be legally over, and the presidential elections should be held.
However, Fatah movement said that according to the basic law amended by the former parliament of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), the presidential and the legislative elections should be held together at the same time.
Hamas rejected the amended basic law, and after it won in the parliamentary elections held in January 2006, it annulled the part which calls for holding presidential and legislative elections together in January 2010.
The presidential elections, boycotted by Hamas, were held in January 2005, while the legislative elections were held in January 2006, when Hamas joined and overwhelmingly won a majority in the parliament.
"There is nothing in the Palestinian constitution saying that the president has the right to extend his presidential term for an extra year. According to the constitution, the presidential term is four years only," said Siam.
A status of severe political split between Gaza, ruled by Hamas and the West Bank, ruled by Abbas, had emerged after Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip by force in mid June last year.
Egypt is currently mediating among the Palestinian political groups, mainly rival Fatah and Hamas, to hold a comprehensive dialogue in Cairo in October to end the crisis.
"The current split is the problem of the president (Abbas) and he is totally responsible for the current situation that the Palestinians have reached," said Siam. "Abbas must achieve the Palestinian unity before he leaves."


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