Mahmoud Abbas, president of the State of Palestine, said that the Palestinian Legislative Council will be dissolved soon.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday that he will dissolve the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) soon without giving an exact date. But the dissolution will be carried out “in a legal manner.”
“In a legal manner, we will dissolve the [Palestinian] Legislative Council and this will occur soon,” Abbas told a conference at the Palestinian Authority's (PA) presidential headquarters in Ramallah.
The Hamas dominated Legislative Council is a rival of Abbas’ Fatah movement. Of the council’s 132 seats, 76 are held by Hamas, while Fatah has 43, and the left wing and independents holding the remaining 13. However, the council was disrupted following the Palestine administrative division of 2007 when two competing Palestinian governments emerged.
Hamas, in the past, had rejected the dissolution of the council more than once. According to them, Abbas has no power to dissolve the council.
Palestinian Basic Law says that parliamentary elections are supposed to be held every four years but the last parliamentary elections took place in 2006. Shortly after that, Hamas took control over the Gaza Strip in 2007 and since then the PLC stopped convening.
According to Jihad Harb, a Palestinian researcher and analyst, the PA President wants to dissolve PLC to undermine Hamas lawmakers and Fatah members who are loyal to Muhammed Dahlan, Abbas’ rival.
Dahlan fled the West Bank in 2011 after PA security forces raided his home near Ramallah.
According to Palestinian Law, if the president dies while in office, the speaker of the PLC becomes acting president for a maximum of 60 days during which a presidential election should take place.
However, the current speaker of PLC is a Hamas member Aziz Dweik, and Abbas does not want Dweik to take his position in case he dies according to Harb.