Hamas-dominated parliament sworn in
Palestine, Politics, 2/18/2006
The Hamas-dominated Palestinian legislative council was sworn in simultaneously in both the West Bank town of Ramallah and Gaza Saturday as the Israeli occupation army began re- introducing draconian measures, apparently aimed at punishing Palestinians for electing Hamas.
Israel refused to allow the Gaza lawmakers to travel to the West Bank for the PLC opening session.
Following a recitation from the Holy Quran, the Palestinian national anthem was played, after which everybody read the opening sura (chapter) of the Quran.
Palestinian National Council (PNC) Head, Salim Zaanoun addressed the large audience of incoming and outgoing lawmakers as well as civic leaders, PA officials and foreign diplomats.
Zaanoun called for Palestinian national unity, especially between Fatah and Hamas.
He urged Fatah to behave positively toward the next Hamas-led government, saying Fatah had no right to impede the government or place sticks in its works.
"Hamas is now the government, Fatah should accept this with serenity. This is democracy." Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas delivered a lengthy speech, asserting PA commitment to the peace process and the Quartet-backed roadmap for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
"We will continue our commitment to the negotiation process as the sole political, pragmatic and strategic choice through which we reap the fruit of our struggle and sacrifices over the long decades." Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, castigated Israel for trying to blackmail the Palestinians into giving up some of their rights.
"Anybody who thinks that these kinds of policies would force our people to hoist the white flag and to give up is mistaken. He doesn't know the reality of this people, its faith, determination and perseverance towards obtaining its full fights." Abbas urged the United States and the international community to make immediate efforts to put the peace process back on track.
The Palestinian president also criticized Israel for using "the internal Palestinian change" as a pretext to further torment the Palestinian people and step up aggression against it.
Following Abbas's speech, Aziz Duweik, 60, was elected as Speaker of Parliament.
Duweik received 70 votes out of a total 132, the total seats of the Palestinian legislative council.
Forty six deputies, mostly affiliated with Fatah, cast white ballots.
Fourteen MPs detained in Israeli jails couldn't vote, while two others were absent.
Hasan Khreishe, an independent, and Ahmed Bahr, were elected as first and second deputy-speakers.
Mahmoud al Ramahi, a Hamas deputy, was elected as Parliament Secretary.
Duweik, a professor of Urban Planning at al Najah University in Nablus, was the only nominee for the important portfolio.
Following his election, Duweik told IRNA he would seek to "create and consolidate genuine democratic traditions in or deepen democracy in parliament and government." "I will try to maintain right balances, we will, God willing, strive to meet the expectations of our people."
Freed Palestinian legislator accuses Israel of torturing prisoners
US denies working to undermine Palestinian government
Hamas to form next Palestinian government
Fatah group clashes with Hamas
Hamas major win of Palestinian elections
Please add a link on your webiste pointing to ArabicNews.com and bookmark ArabicNews.com & subscribe to our daily email news bulletin.
| Advertise on ArabicNews.com. MyFlowers.com sold more than $2700 of flowers in one month advertising on ArabicNews.com! Make your company, and products a success. Special rate for new and small business. Inquire!Advertising Info