Today was supposed to be Palestinian election day

On 24 October 2009 – in what looked at the time to be an attempt to push Hamas to sign a reconciliation document being brokered by Egypt — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) issued the required presidential decree calling for presidential and legislative council elections on 24 January 2010 — that is, today.

A few days later, Abu Mazen said he would not run in the next Palestinian presidential elections.

About two weeks later, Abu Mazen quickly endorsed a statement by the Independent Election Commission saying that free elections could not be held in Gaza, given the current conditions there (in particular, the lack of agreement on reconciliation). He said he would stay in his post until the next elections could be held…

Today, various Palestinian politicians in the West Bank said that their terms in office, as members of the Palestine Legislative Council, have come to an end.

As far as I can tell — please tell me if I’m wrong — Fatah has not said anything …

Ma’an News Agency reported this evening that “Six staff members of Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) member [working for members of the Hamas bloc, Ma’an explains below] in the PLC,were arrested by Palestinian Authority (PA) police as they exited the PLC Headquarters in Ramallah on Sunday, lawmaker Dr Mahmoud Ar-Ramahi reported … The official term of the PLC came to an end Sunday, with sides calling into question the legitimacy of the PLO move to extend its term. One PLC member handed over his PA-issued vehicle in the afternoon, saying he was ‘no longer a PLC member’. Speaking on the phone with Ma’an, Ar-Ramahi said the six men, working for members of the Hamas bloc in the PLC, were targets of a ‘constant and increasing harassment [by the PA] targeting members of the Legislative Council affiliated with the Change and Reform [Hamas] bloc’. The arrests took place, he said following the conference given by Dweik, himself part of the Hamas bloc, who called for presidential support for a meeting with all West Bank and Gaza Strip PLC members. The body has not met since 2007. ‘I left the office with the staff in my car and security vehicles blocked my way, they asked my colleagues who they were and arrested them without talking to me’, Ar-Ramahi said. Police spokesman Adnan Ad-Damiri said the men were arrested because they were suspects the PA police had on file, adding that none of ‘the employees have parliamentary immunities..they will be investigated and then released and that is all’. Officials with the PA police said the men would be released ‘in hours’ … They were reportedly taken to a security center in Ramallah” … This Ma’an report can be read in full here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *