Palestinians Opt for Two-office Leadership
Palestinian leaders, struggling to deal with a post-Yasser Arafat world, have patched together a two-office arrangement for running the territories. With Arafat, 75, in a coma and on life-support in a French hospital, Ahmed Qureia and Mahmoud Abbas have emerged as transition leaders of the Palestinians while Arafat’s future remains uncertain, the Washington Post reported Friday.
Under terms of a somewhat ad hoc arrangement, Qureia will run daily operations for the Palestinian Authority, the self-governing entity in the West Bank and Gaza Strip established 10 years ago by the Oslo peace accords. He will also head the National Security Council. Arafat is president of the authority and chairman of the council. Abbas, meanwhile, will run both the Palestine Liberation Organization, the umbrella group that represents Palestinians living in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and abroad, and of the Fatah political movement, the most powerful Palestinian political organization. Arafat is chairman of both.
Interesting. As with the Soviets after Stalin, I think it unlikely that any successor will ever wield anything close to the power Arafat did. That’s a good thing.