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Palestinian parliament fails to convene due to Fatah boycott
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19:35, July 05, 2007

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Palestinian Legislative Council ( PLC) failed to convene on Thursday due to differences between Hamas parliamentary bloc, which dominates the parliament, and Fatah lawmakers.

Fatah lawmakers boycotted the session, saying that the first round of the term has ended and needs a presidential decree to enter in the second phase.

Jehad Abu Znaid, a PLC member from Fatah, said on Wednesday her colleagues refused to attend the meetings "and set beside the coup makers of Hamas."

Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip on June 14 after storming all security headquarters including President Mahmoud Abbas compound, prompting Abbas to sack the national unity government and swear in an emergency replacement led by Salam Fayyad.

Even before Hamas takeover of the coastal strip, the PLC has rarely met as about 40 Hamas lawmakers are held in Israel.

Azzam al-Ahmed, chief of Fatah parliamentary bloc, told reporters in Ramallah Thursday that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas can break up the parliament without resorting to the law.

"The President has the right to dissolve the Legislative Council even if there was no legal provision authorizing this," he said, adding that "when the parliament is disabled, we can return to the people to have their say."

Spokesman for Hamas legislators Salah al-Bardaweel, for his part, said his movement "has always wished to neutralize the PLC and get it out of the games."

Source: Xinhua



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