Monday, January 14, 2008

Messed Up Democracy

It looks like the long-discussed dissolution of the Palestinian Parliament might finally be coming to pass:
"The PLO Central Council, which met in Ramallah on Sunday, is expected to vote to dissolve the current Palestinian Legislative Council [PLC], which is dominated by Hamas. The council is also scheduled to call for early parliamentary elections in the Palestinian territories.

"However, it's unclear how such elections would take place in the Gaza Strip, which is entirely controlled by Hamas.

"Several Fatah officials have also called to dissolve the PLC, which has been paralyzed since Hamas took full control of the Gaza Strip in June.

"The move is set to deepen divisions among the Palestinians and further consolidate the split between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. It is also likely to hamper efforts by some Arab countries to patch up the differences between Fatah and Hamas."

It seems odd to point out that there is no provision in Palestinian law for dissolving Parliament in this fashion. However, there's also no provision in Palestinian law for seizing control of the Gaza Strip the way Hamas did. Yes, Hamas won the parliamentary elections, but Abbas won the presidential election, so nothing there was really about which group should rise to power as a result of "democracy." Although I supported pushing Hamas initially to recognize existing diplomatic agreements, Israel and the U.S. kept up the pressure long past the point where they needed to, making the current situation all but inevitable.



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