Abbas may resign before election

By Jessica Elgot, November 9, 2009

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has told Egyptian leaders that he may not wait until the next election to resign.

Mr Abbas has announced that he will not seek reelection as president of the Palestinian Authority.

The Egyptian delegation, led by the country’s Palestinian ambassador Yasser Othman, was visting Ramallah in order to try and urge Mr Abbas to continue as president, Haaretz reported.

Mr Abbas had come under fire in recent months because he did not immediately throw his backing behind the UN Goldstone Report, causing tensions between Hamas and Fatah.

These growing tensions could mean an election is not likely in the foreseeable future, and the resignation of Mr Abbas prior to any election could cause further disruption.

If a Palestinian president resigns before the election, the law states that the speaker of the parliament takes his place for 60 days until an election can be called. The current speaker is leading Hamas politician Aziz Dweik.

Last updated: 12:05pm, November 9 2009