The executive committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) approved, during a Monday evening meeting, an amendment to the legislative election bill, which calls for running parliamentary elections on the bases of relative representation of nationally composed lists.

The approved amendment has to be sent to the Palestinian legislative council for approval. The council has already passed a bill in second reading that allocates 70% of parliament seats to regionally elected individuals.

The Palestinian constitution allows the president to propose amendments to proposed bills prior to being approved in their third reading.

Sources close to Abbas informed IMEMC that 30 legislators belonging to the Fatah faction has already signed a document expressing support for the proposed PLO’ amendment to the election bill.

Abbas believes that political reforms require strengthening nationwide political parties over traditional family based groups. Running nation wide elections based on relative representation of political lists would deprive regionally based traditional groups from an important source of power.

Two weeks ago, Palestinian legislators were forced to approve the election bill in second reading following warnings issued by Hamas, accusing Fatah with using parliamentary maneuvers to postpone legislative elections until after the Israeli intended pullout in the summer.

Abbas intervened in person to convince his faction lawmakers to approve the election bill, saying amendments to the election bill can only happen through political negotiations with Palestinian factions.

The approved by the PLC election bill contradicts the Cairo understandings, where all political factions agreed on allocating at least 50% of the seats for nationwide elected candidates’ lists.

IMEMC learned that Abbas is firmly lobbying for running political elections through which all Palestinians elect candidates’ lists formed by political parties.