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December 7, 2016 12:03 pm

Fatah Lawmakers Warn European Parliament of Ongoing ‘Serious Deterioration of Democracy’ in Abbas-Led Palestinian Authority

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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Photo: via Wikimedia Commons.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Photo: via Wikimedia Commons.

A group of Fatah lawmakers recently sent a letter to the European Parliament warning of an ongoing “serious deterioration of democracy” in the Palestinian Authority, The Algemeiner has learned.

In the letter, obtained by The Algemeiner, 13 Fatah members of the Palestinian Legislative Council — including Mohammed Dahlan, an arch-rival of PA President and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas — wrote that Palestinians have been “suffering from the increasing human rights violations that the Palestinian presidential institution has been committing against our people, especially against the rule of law and the separation between the executive, legislative and judicial powers.”

Furthermore, the letter claimed, Abbas’ regime — which controls Palestinian areas of the West Bank — has “exploited the world’s silence to commit more and more violations on a daily basis.”

The letter’s signatories called for “direct intervention” by European governments to “monitor the behavior and decisions of the Palestinian presidential institution.”

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“Your countries have provided generous financial, technical and legal support for the construction and rehabilitation of judicial and security institutions,” the letter went on to say. “However, these institutions have been repeatedly misused to suppress political freedoms and intervene in political disputes…You provide aid and grants to our people, but the presidential institution and its affiliate institutions use your money to punish and suppress those who disagree with them and speak in favor of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.”

“We request you to urgently form inquiry committees and to open investigations into the reported violations,” the letter concluded. “This should be preceded by practical steps in the form of clear messages to be addressed to the Palestinian executive authority. We are ready to receive a fact-finding delegation from the European Parliament, and to send a Palestinian delegation to you to discuss the details of these and many other violations.”

The 132-member Palestinian Legislative Council has not met since 2007, the year Hamas violently seized control of the Gaza Strip from the Fatah-ruled PA.

The most recent PLC elections took place in 2006, when Hamas won a majority with 70 seats. Fatah holds 45 seats.

Due to the continuing internal Palestinian political deadlock, the 81-year-old Abbas is currently in the 12th year of a four-year PA presidential term that began in 2005.

Last month, as reported in The Algemeiner, Fatah unanimously re-elected Abbas to serve as its leader for another five years.

The Algemeiner also reported last month that Egypt was pressuring Abbas to appoint a successor. The same report said Arab League member-states were seeking to bring Dahlan — currently living in exile in the United Arab Emirates — back into the Palestinian political picture, for the purpose of making him a candidate to take the aging PA president’s place in the future.

Earlier this year, as reported by The Algemeiner, an Israeli expert on Arab affairs said that the PA’s grip on the West Bank was weakening.

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