82 civil society organizations in the Gaza Strip sent a letter to the UN Group of 77 + 1, stating that Mr. Mahmoud Abbas no longer has any legal status in representing the Palestinian people and talk in their behalf in accordance with the Palestinian Basic Law, which set the term of office of the President only four years, the period that ended for Mr. Abbas in 2009.
In accordance with Article 36 of the Palestinian Basic Law and its amendments of 2005, which was approved byÂ Abbas himself, after his assumption of the presidency of the Palestinian Authority, Mr. Abbas has been lacking the constitutional legitimacy since 2009, but he has been practicing the presidential duties for 10 years after the end of his constitutional mandate, based on illegal references and contrary to the Palestinian Basic Law.
The letter stated, according to Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency, that the PA president’s punitive measures against civilians in the Gaza Strip caused their living condition to deteriorate, and offered review of some of these measures, such as the unlawful deduction of salaries, the transfer of thousands of employees to early retirement, in addition to depriving civilians of passports, reducing Gaza’s share of medicines, stopping medical referrals and demanding that Israeli authorities stop supplying electricity to the Gaza Strip.
The institutions that signed the letter stressed that Abbas’s continued takeover of authority made him an authoritarian ruler through his domination of all the institutions of the Palestinian Authority and his dissolution of the elected legislative council through an illegal constitutional court, which caused a major setback in the public freedoms in the West Bank, and led to the collapse of the Palestinian political structure, and contributed to the deepening of the Palestinian division.
In its letter, the institutions called on the member states of the Group of 77 and China to deal with Mr. Abbas as a rapist of power, and not to grant any legitimacy or cover for the tyranny and political dictatorship he is practicing, stressing the lack of constitutional status in his practicing of the functions of the Palestinian presidency.
Chris Carlson is a student of religion at Mount Mercy University, United States, and has been a regular volunteer with the IMEMC since 2013. He assisted in providing extensive coverage of the 2014 Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip and continues, into the present day, with the issues at hand. He can be reached via email at c h r i s @ i m e m c . o r g.