Mahmud Abbas says he will dissolve Palestinian parliament


RAMALLAH: Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said Saturday he intended to dissolve the largely defunct Palestinian parliament controlled by his rivals Hamas following a court decision ordering the move.
Abbas did not say when the Ramallah-based Palestinian Constitutional Court issued the ruling that includes holding elections within six months of the Palestinian Legislative Council being dissolved.
“The issue reached the Constitutional Court which issued a verdict to dissolve the legislative council and call for legislative elections within six months, and this is what we must implement immediately,” Abbas said when meeting members of the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah.
The step would allow Abbas to further pressure Hamas, the movement that runs the Gaza Strip.
Though the parliament has not met since 2007, when Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip, Palestinian law allows for its speaker to act as interim president should 83-year-old Abbas die in office.
Hamas won the last parliamentary elections in 2006 in a landslide, resulting in an electoral dispute with Abbas´s Fatah.
The split between them persists and has defied several reconciliation attempts.
Abbas, whose Fatah is based in the occupied West Bank, has sought to pressure Hamas in recent months by reducing salaries in the Gaza Strip, which is under an Israeli blockade, among other moves.
Abbas´s term was meant to expire in 2009, but he has remained in office in the absence of elections.


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