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.

 

Islamic State ‘share in US weapons’ embarrasses Pentagon

Hundreds protest in Iran after horrendous acid attacks

Libya army scores small victory in Benghazi

Masdar to build first large-scale wind farm in GCC

Kasserine reaps bitter harvest from Tunisia revolution: Poverty and terrorism

Turkish woman arrested for stepping on Koran

Erdogan criticises US for airdrops on Kobane

Iraq schools provide shelter but late to open for classes

Syria air force shoots down two of three 'IS warplanes'

Egypt court rules on ‘Nasr City terror cell’

Fire from Egypt wounds two Israeli soldiers near border

By hook or by crook, settlers notch up property gains in East Jerusalem

Turkey envoy meets leader of parallel government in Libya

Israel arrests seven Palestinian fishermen off northern Gaza

Khamenei to Abadi: Iraq can beat 'Islamic State' without foreign troops

Saudi special court rules in cases of riots and terrorism

Only in Libya: Government calls for civil disobedience

Iraq Kurds set to vote on deployment of Peshmerga forces to Syria

Alderton: Morocco unrivalled business gateway to sub-Saharan Africa

Protests over IS turn Istanbul University into war zone

Turkey eyes stricter punishment against lawbreakers at protests

For Sudan President: Promises are something and re-election is something else

Iran returns Abadi to ‘house of obedience’

From traditional military to counterinsurgency force: Syria army grows more capable

South Sudan rivals accept 'responsibility' for civil war

British drones in Iraq also used for Syria surveillance

Turkey launches new wave of wire-tapping arrests

Rise of Shiite militias challenges government authority in Iraq

Syria Kurds show impressive resistance to ‘Islamic State’ in Kobane

Vote or boycott: Grim record of self-serving politicians puts off voters in Tunisia

Egypt universities tighten security to avoid new Islamist violence

Iran forces inside Iraq as Abadi rules out foreign ground intervention!

South Sudan rivals meet in new bid to end civil war

From Morocco into Spain: Crowd of African migrants charges to border fence

Deadly suicide attack targets Shiite mosque in central Baghdad

Turkey gives Iraq Peshmerga forces passage to Kobane

Israel to supply Egypt with natural gas despite sabotage

Kerry seeks help of Southeast Asia in anti-Islamic State push

Qaeda inflicts heavy losses on Huthi rebels in central Yemen

US carries out first weapon airdrops to Kurd fighters near Kobane

Benghazi violence kills 75 people in five days

Morocco accuses Algeria of firing on civilians across border

Australia finalises deal for deployment of Special Forces to Iraq

Tunisia calls on Libya authorities to locate missing journalists

Turkey rejects calls to arm ‘terrorist’ Kurdish party in Syria