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.

 

Essebsi wins Tunisia election to become first freely elected President

U-turn: Qatar pledges 'full support' to Sisi's Egypt

Syria civil war has cost tiny neighbour Lebanon more than $ 20 billion

Erdogan slams birth control as ‘treason’ against Turkey ambitions

Arts Canteen London presents Attab Haddad: Iraqi oud with a western twist

Israel charges Palestinians for ‘inciting violence on Facebook’

Hollande urges ‘utmost vigilance’ after brutal weekend attacks in France

Turkey graft scandal: Four ex-ministers await decision on their fate

Berlin seeks to set up trauma centre for IS rape victims

Syria claims downing of Israeli reconnaissance drone

Rafah border crossing reopens for two days

Israel parliament approves funding for settler tourism plan

Five jihadists killed in clashes with Egypt police

Essebsi claims victory in Tunisia presidential poll

Coalition targets ‘Islamic State’ in areas north of Aleppo

Libya Islamist-backed government urges foreigners to return to Tripoli

Palestinians enter Egypt as Rafah crossing reopens for two days

Davutoglu accuses EU of 'dirty campaign' against Turkey

Raid on terrorists accidentally kills Saudi youth in Awamiya town

Egypt sentences ‘spy for Israel’ to ten years in prison

Jordan ends eight-year moratorium on death penalty

Egypt President removes powerful spy chief

Barzani in Mount Sinjar after end of jihadist siege

Tunisia votes for president in final leg of democratic transition

Turkey acquits sociologist over 1998 explosion

EU foreign affairs head to visit Iraq

Turkey court remands Samanyolu TV chief in custody

IS threatens to kill Lebanese soldiers held hostage

Obama concerned about Egypt mass trials

Tough times for oil-rich GCC

Tumbling oil prices cut budgets of Mideast arms exporters

Iraq’s peshmerga ‘break’ Mount Sinjar siege

Turkish media chiefs charged with terrorism

Iraq may delay payment of Kuwait war reparations

Over $900 million needed to help Syria children

Saudi rules out oil output reduction

Dutch populist lawmaker to be tried for 'fewer Moroccans' vow

Outrage in Algeria over Islamist call for Algerian author's death

Iraq Kurds, coalition launch offensive to retake Sinjar

Three years to end Israeli occupation in UN resolution

Yemen’s Huthis seize Sanaa state offices

Somalia appoints new PM after bitter infighting

Blow to Israel: EU court removes Hamas from terror blacklist

Sharp rise in Syria passport applications

Turkey FM visit to Iran highlights Syria divide