First Published: 2004-11-11

 
Fattuh sworn in as acting head of PA
 

Fattuh is not seen as likely candidate to run for president as he lacks power base within Fatah does not sit on PLO executive committee.

 

Middle East Online

By Hisham Abdallah - RAMALLAH, West Bank

Fattuh will serve as acting head of the authority for a maximum 60 days

The Palestinian leadership divided up the spoils of Yasser Arafat's power Thursday, naming ex-premier Mahmud Abbas as Palestine Liberation Organisation supremo and senior PLO official Faruq Qaddumi as head of the dominant Fatah faction.

Palestinian parliament speaker Rawhi Fattuh was sworn in as acting head of the Palestinian Authority after the death of veteran leader Yasser Arafat. Current prime minister Ahmed Qorei, 67, is to remain in his post.

All of the institutions had been headed by Arafat, the veteran leader who has dominated Palestinian political life for the best part of a half a century.

While Abbas's appointment was widely expected, the Tunis-based Qaddumi's promotion was a major surprise.

He rejected the Oslo peace accords which ushered in the Palestinian Authority and did not return from exile in 1994 with the rest of the leadership, including Arafat, Abbas and Qorei.

Fattuh has been formally installed as caretaker Palestinian Authority leader.

Under the terms of the Palestinian mini constitution, or basic law, Fattuh will serve as acting head of the authority for a maximum 60 days until fresh presidential elections are held.

However Fattuh, who was only chosen as speaker in March of this year, is not seen as a likely candidate to run for president as he lacks a power base within Fatah and does not sit on the PLO executive committee.

Arafat's administration has been beset by corruption, incompetence and lawlessness.

The crisis reached its nadir in June when Qorei submitted his resignation after an unprecedented spate of kidnappings in the Gaza Strip. The resignation was later retracted after Arafat refused to accept it.

There have been growing calls for the leadership of the main Palestinian institutions to be divided up, particular from younger members of Fatah who are expected to push for a reformist to run as president.

The Palestinians had planned to hold presidential elections in the spring of next year even before Arafat's health crisis erupted.

However the continued presence of Israeli troops and roadblocks in the occupied territories gives the Palestinian leadership a perfect get-out clause if it wants to delay the elections.

The last and only polls took place in January 1996, following the Oslo autonomy accords between the Palestinians and Israel and the creation of Palestinian Authority in 1994.

 

Horse-trading begins as Tunisia awaits formation of new government

Israel closes al-Aqsa mosque to worshipers in rare move

UK court says Libyan Abdul-Hakim Belhaj can sue over rendition

Syria accuses Turkey of ‘flagrant violation of sovereignty’

Global campaign to end female genital mutilation kicks off

Kuwait online activist gets four years in jail for insulting judges

Heavy fighting in South Sudan sparks fears of humanitarian catastrophe

Sweden officially recognises State of Palestine

Egypt jails retired general for damaging national security

Gaza civil servants receive delayed salaries

After US criticism, Israel vows no concessions to Palestinians

Libya internationally recognised PM opens doors of dialogue with rivals

Huthi rebels seize stronghold of Muslim Brotherhood in central Yemen

Will Nidaa Tounes shun Islamists in Tunisia government formation?

Egypt starts work on buffer zone along border with Gaza

Turkey Sultan unveils new palace: Another break with symbols of secular state

Heavy toll as ‘Islamic State’ fights for control of Syria oil field

Iran President suffers fresh setback with rejection of Science Minister

Nuclear deal or no deal: ‘Red lines’ lay bare internal divisions in Iran

Heavy security in Mogadishu as UN chief meets Somalia president

Fighters from Free Syrian Army leave Turkey to join Kobane battle

Israel denies banning Palestinians sharing buses

Kurd fighters leave northern Iraq base for Syria deployment

Jordan requests UN emergency meeting over Israel settler expansion

Jerusalem Mayor visits Al-Aqsa mosque prompting anger

Tunisia reinforces commitment to democracy with ‘transparent’ elections

Turkey ‘decides’ for Kobane future: No Kurds, no Assad... Only Free Syrian Army!

Bahrain suspends Al-Wefaq weeks before parliamentary elections

Huge game changer in Tunisia: ‘In-credible’ failure of Islamist Ennahda Party

Libya PM in Khartoum for talks with Bashir

PKK hijack truck seizing explosive substance

Saudi lawyers get jail time for offensive tweets

Ennahda concedes defeat in Tunisia parliamentary elections

Syria rebels launch assault on regime-held city of Idlib

Iraq peshmerga wait for Turkey stance to depart for Syria

Sisi enacts military trials decree to cover ‘existential threat’

US calls for online war against ‘Islamic State’

Donors pledge $8 billion for Horn of Africa

Acid attacks in Iran: Deputy of Judiciary Chief to lead investigation

Lebanon army enters Islamist stronghold in Tripoli

Israel approves plans for 1,000 settler homes in East Jerusalem

Tunisians punish Islamists with massive vote to secular parties

Israel in new show of apartheid: Arabs off Jewish buses!

Abadi in Jordan to seek greater cooperation in battle against ‘Islamic State’

Jihadist activity flourishes in southern Libya