Topic | Choose topic/s and define your search
Affiliations / Personalities
Date Range

The new PA government bypasses democracy

Maurice Hirsch, Adv. and Itamar Marcus  |

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas yesterday swore in the new PA government headed by Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh. 

The new government replaces the previous so-called “national consensus” government of Rami Hamdallah, that was appointed with the consent of Hamas. This new government was unilaterally created by Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah leadership. 

The appointment of the new government comes at an interesting time. 

On December 22, 2018, Abbas decided to dissolve the Palestinian Parliament that had not functioned for over 12 years. The announcement followed a decision of the Abbas created PA Constitutional Court which approved the dissolution of the parliament and called for general PA elections within six months. 

In other words, if Abbas and/or the new PA Prime Minister Shtayyeh, do indeed intend to comply with the decision of the Constitutional Court, the elections for the Palestinian Parliament must be held before the 21st of June. Accordingly, the term of the new government will be limited to no more than 3 months. 

When setting out the priorities of the new government, Shtayyeh admittedly noted the need to hold general elections, but the rest of his goals seem to be long term goals whose achievement are not realistically consistent with a government that should not exist for more than three months. 

Having said that, in its 25 years of existence, the PA has held only two general elections, the first in 1996 and the last in 2006. Since Abbas’ December decision, little, if anything, has been done to prepare for the elections and no date has yet been set. 

With this poor democratic tradition, maybe it is time for the international community to stop criticizing the democratic state of Israel and turn their efforts to establishing a democratic and terror-rejecting Palestinian Authority.