Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas attends a ceremony in Ramallah.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Tawfik Tirawi, a senior Fatah official and former PA General Intelligence chief, has criticized President Mahmoud Abbas for failing to implement major reforms and refusing to share powers with others.
In a letter to Abbas and Fatah leaders that was leaked to Palestinian media outlets, Tirawi said the recent diplomatic achievements scored by the PA leadership in the international arena were insufficient in the absence of large-scale reforms.
Addressing Abbas, the top Fatah official wrote: I urge you to take an objective approach and call for a serious, sincere, in-depth and wide discussion to address the questions of the current phase. This discussion should not be restricted to the inner circle that has made matters worse. Frankness for the sake of fixing the political system is a badly needed duty before it’s too late.”
Tirawi reminded the president of what Abbas once said – that absolute power leads to corruption. “Where are we standing today with regards to your statement?” Tirawi asked. “Our situation has become fragile. Don’t think that the achievements scored by Palestine in the international arena will remain registered under your name as long as you refuse to accept criticism. Our political system is dying.”
Tirawi pointed out that since Hamas’s violent takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007, Abbas has become the sole decision-maker. “We are in need of a lively and influential political class within the democratic frame,” he wrote.
“We are in need of an economic administration that would solidify traditions of a real national economy. We are in need of a security establishment that is capable of creating a balance between the need to maintain public order and winning the confidence and support of the people. In addition, we need to separate between the authorities so that a security official would not have to deal with a political case and a Friday mosque preacher doesn’t become a spokesman on political issues and is entrusted with international contacts.”
Tirawi expressed hope that political decisions in the international arena would no longer be taken before they are studied and clarified within responsible frames, allowing others to voice their opinion.
“We were hoping that the President’s Office would expand the circle of consultations instead of keeping it limited to a small group of people who don’t change,” the official added. “We were hoping that the Palestinian Authority, 20 years after its establishment, would create an independent and fair judicial system.”
Tirawi’s criticism of Abbas and his close advisers comes amid reports of a power struggle that is raging among senior Palestinian officials who wish to succeed the PA president.
The power struggle coincides with unconfirmed reports that the 80-year-old Abbas is planning to resign in the coming weeks. One report claimed over the weekend that Abbas has informed Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of his intention to quit.