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President of the State of Palestine

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Title: President of the State of Palestine  
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Subject: Palestinian government, Prime Minister of the State of Palestine, Palestinian National Authority, June 2014, Palestinian National Covenant
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President of the State of Palestine

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Officeholders whose status is disputed are shown in italics

The President of the State of Palestine is the head of the State of Palestine. The function was originally held by the President of the Palestinian National Authority Yasser Arafat from 1988 and continued by his successor Mahmoud Abbas. In May 2005, the Palestinian Central Council asked Abbas to carry out the duties of the President of the State of Palestine.[1] In November 2008, the PCC appointed Abbas to President of the State of Palestine.[2]

Election and terms

The term of the first President of the Palestinian National Authority was envisioned to cover the interim phase, ″after which the President shall be elected in accordance with the law″. The second President would be elected in a general and direct election by the Palestinian people, in accordance with the Palestinian Election Law. [3] An interim period was defined in the Oslo I Accord and started on 4 May 1994. The first President of the PA was accordingly appointed on 5 July 1994 and elected on 20 January 1996.[4]

The 2005 Amended Basic Law stipulates that the presidency shall be four years. The President may be nominated for a second term. The law also determines that the term of the Palestinian Legislative Council shall be four years.[5] This conforms article 2 of the 2005 Elections Law No. 9, which also stipulates that the secret and free direct elections of President and Council members shall be simultaneously.[6]

In September 2007, President Abbas issued a decree that annulled the 2005 Elections Law. Article 2 of the decree determines that within at least three months prior to the expiry of his term the President should issue a decree calling for presidential or legislative elections throughout Palestine.[7] This law was partly designed to exclude Hamas.[8]

The 2003 Amended Basic Law determines that decrees automatically lose their validity if they are not approved in the next PLC session.[8][9]

Yasser Arafat, first President

On 15 November 1988, President of the Palestinian National Authority upon its formal inauguration on 5 July.[4] He exercised limited self-government over part of the occupied Palestinian territories, following the Oslo I Accord en the subsequent Gaza–Jericho Agreement. From 1993, an independant State of Palestine was envisioned on the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and Gaza.

His presidency was validated by the Presidential elections on 20 January 1996, but future elections were suspended. Arafat remained President until his death on 11 November 2004. The House speaker of the Parliament Rauhi Fattouh became acting President to prepare new Presidential elections.

Mahmoud Abbas, second President

In May 2005, the Palestinian Central Council asked Abbas to carry out the duties of the President of the State of Palestine.[1] In November 2008, the PCC appointed Abbas to President of the State of Palestine.[2]

List of Presidents (1989–present)

# Portrait Name
Term of Office Party
1 Yasser Arafat
2 April 1989[10]
11 November 2004
(died in office)
(Palestine Liberation Organization)
Vacant (11 November 2004 – 8 May 2005)[11]
2 Mahmoud Abbas
Acting since 8 May 2005[1]
Elected on 9 January 2005

President of UN-observer Palestine state since 8 January 2013[12]
Incumbent Fatah
(Palestine Liberation Organization)

See also


  1. ^ a b c PLO asks Mahmud Abbas to be acting president of "state of Palestine", Al Jazeera, 8 May 2005
  2. ^ a b PLO body elects Abbas ′president of Palestine′, AFP, 23 November 2008
  3. ^ 2003 Amended Basic Law, Art. 34 and 36
  4. ^ a b Europa World Year Book 2004, p. 2235. Taylor & Francis, 2004 (on Google Books).
    "On 26–28 May [1994] the PA held its inaugural meeting in Tunis, ... Arafat made a symbolic return to Gaza City on 1 July—his first visit for 25 years—and the PA was formally inaugurated in Jericho on 5 July."
  5. ^ 2005 Amendment to the Basic Law.
  6. ^ Elections Law No 9 of 2005. here available
  7. ^ A decree issued by a law number ( ) of 2007, pertaining the general elections. Here available. 2 September 2007
  8. ^ a b Palestinian Presidential Elections. Nathan J. Brown, The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, July 2008
  9. ^ 2003 Amended Basic Law: ″Article 43 The President of the National Authority shall have the right, in cases of necessity that cannot be delayed, and when the Legislative Council is not in session, to issue decrees that have the power of law. These decrees shall be presented to the Legislative Council in the first session convened after their issuance; otherwise they will cease to have the power of law. If these decrees are presented to the Legislative Council, as mentioned above, but are not approved by the latter, then they shall cease to have the power of law.″
  10. ^
  11. ^ PNA interim chairman calls for elections preparations. Xinhua News Agency, 13 November 2004
  12. ^ Palestinian Authority rebrands itself 'State of Palestine' after U.N. vote

External links

  • Palestinian President Office (Arabic)
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