Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gestures during a ceremony marking the 54th anniversary of Fatah's founding, in Ramallah, December 31, 2018.
(photo credit: MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/REUTERS)
The EU has called on the PA to ensure elections are held, expressing concerns over the absence of any democratically elected bodies in the Palestinian territories, particularly in the West Bank.
The local heads of mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah issued a statement on Monday after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas dissolved the Palestinian Legislative Council at the end of December saying elections would be held within six months.
The move effectively left the Palestinians without any elected governmental body.
“Its dissolution formally brings to an end the mandate of the only elected governing body of the Palestinian Authority, a development the EU missions regard with concern,” the heads of mission stated.
The European Union noted that the PLC, which had comprised members from Fatah and Hamas, had existed in name only. It had not been in session since 2007, when Hamas took over the Gaza Strip in a bloody coup, making it impossible to convene the PLC. Still, the EU noted, the PLC mandate played a symbolic role, even though the terms of office of its members had expired in 2010.
Abbas’s four-year-term in office expired in 2009.
In light of the continued power struggle between Fatah and Hamas
, the prospect of holding elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip is slim to none.
The EU called for Fatah and Hamas to reunite and for the Palestinian government “to work toward genuine and democratic elections for all Palestinians.”
It added that such democratic elections were “crucial” to the “establishment of a viable and sovereign Palestinian state.”
The EU urged “all Palestinian factions to engage in good faith in the reconciliation process, which is an important element for reaching the two-state solution. The Palestinian Authority must fully resume its governmental functions in Gaza, as it is an integral part of a future Palestinian state.”