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.

 

UN eyes new Western Sahara talks after Polisario pullback

UK warns of ‘increased level of terrorist activity’

Merkel warns EU-Turkey ties 'severely hit' by Ankara developments

Pope Francis leads mass in Egypt

420 tonnes of plastic bags seized in year in Morocco since ban

Pope lifts spirits of Egypt's persecuted Christians

Erdogan says Turkey, US can turn Raqa into 'graveyard'

Hamas to amend controversial charter

Turkish authorities block access to Wikipedia

President of European rights group censured for Assad meeting

Pope Francis flies to Egypt as 'pilgrim of peace'

Palestinians protest to support prisoners on hunger strike

Turkish army, Syrian Kurdish militia in new clashes

Erdogan to rejoin Turkey ruling party next week

Germany urges EU not to break off Turkey accession talks

OPCW says chemical weapons allegedly used 45 times in Syria

Netanyahu slams German foreign minster as 'insensitive'

Erdogan hopes for 'new page' with US under Trump

UN Security Council calls for Polisario pullback from Guerguerat

UN envoy to Libya to visit Sudan for peace talks

Tunisian PM booed out of town hall meet

Russian spy ship sinks off Turkish coast

London police arrest ‘terror act’ knifeman by parliament

Palestinians strike in support of protesting prisoners

Two Saudi soldiers killed in rocket attack near Yemen border

German soldier plots attack under refugee disguise

Iraq forces retake town of Hatra from IS

Syria accuses Israel of strike near Damascus airport

10 dead after strikes on rebel-held hospitals in Syria

Turkey’s AKP to hold special congress readmitting Erdogan

EU reviews Libya request for naval equipment

Jail terms over death of Moroccan fishmonger

UN appoints Syrian Olympic swimmer as ambassador

Bahraini activist on hunger strike behind bars

Calls on Saudi social media for jobless protest

Tunisian coastguards no match for high-speed smugglers

US wants 'strong, democratic' Turkey: ambassador

Israeli tank trades shots with Hamas in Gaza

Syria says France 'hiding truth' about chemical attack

NATO chief warns Turkey to respect ‘rule of law’

Exiled Turkish journalist urges EU to confront Erdogan

Mass funeral for dozens slain in Syria bus attack

Qatar insists Baghdad had ‘full knowledge’ of hostage deal

UN eyes new Yemen peace talks

Erdogan resumes Gulen arrests after referendum win