Fayyad government fails to be ratified

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad had to abandon his attempt to present his government for a confidence vote on Sunday when his own supporters boycotted the session over a dispute with Hamas.

Fayyad government fails to be ratified
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad had to abandon his attempt to present his government for a confidence vote on Sunday when his own supporters boycotted the session over a dispute with Hamas.

Citing the continued deadlock, Abbas plans to issue decrees this week calling for early parliamentary and presidential elections over objections from Hamas, which won parliamentary polls last year.

"I wanted to present my government to the legislative council (parliament) in line with the law, but apparently it has failed to implement this constitutional duty," Fayyad said when lawmakers dispersed without convening.

Sunday's boycott was led by Fatah and other factions which support Fayyad but dispute the legality of Hamas's call for the session to be held.

Abbas's secular Fatah faction and Hamas Islamists, who seized control of the Gaza Strip in a takeover last month, have taken boycotted each other's attempts to hold legislative sessions, preventing the body from gathering 67 members to form a quorum.

Israel arrests

Hamas won a majority of the seats in parliament in the January 2006 election, but Israel has arrested about half of the group's 74 legislators and it can no longer assemble a majority.

Abbas has seized on the parliament's inability to function as legal grounds for ruling by decree since Gaza's takeover. Abbas appointed Fayyad's government without lawmakers' approval after sacking Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas and his cabinet last month.

Hamas's acting parliamentary speaker Ahmed Bahar on Sunday accused Abbas of violating the Palestinian Basic Law, which functions as a constitution, saying Haniyeh remained prime minister and the law required Abbas to replace Fayyad within two weeks.

Riyad al-Malki, information minister in Fayyad's government, said: "The Basic Law does not have answers or explanations for what happens next if the (parliament) continues to fail to give the government a vote of confidence, therefore the best solution would be for the president to seek advice from the high court or the constitutional court."

The main authors of the Basic Law have said that Abbas has overstepped his authority and must obtain parliamentary approval to keep Fayyad's government in place.

Abbas's aides said the president had the power to issue decrees with the force of law while the Palestinian legislature was not in session.

Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 22 Temmuz 2007, 18:43
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