Palestinian Basic Law
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The Palestinian Basic Law

A collection of various propsals and amendments to the Basic Law of Palestine.

Majority believes presidental term expires in 2009

A new poll from the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR) indicates that almost two-thirds of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza believe that Abbas’s term in office expires in January 2009, rather than January 2010.

Read: PSR, Press release, Palestinian public opinion poll no 29, http://www.pcpsr.org/survey/polls/2008/p29epressrelease.html.

In June, the Department of Fatwa and Legislation affiliated with the Palestinian Authority (PA) said in a statement that the term of president Abbas (elected in 2005) should continue until the end of the legitimate term of the second Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC whose term is four years) elected 25 January 2006.

The purpose is to make presidential and PLC elections coincide. There is currently a debate on whether or not this extension is legitimate. Hamas has stated that they will not deal with Mahmoud Abbas as president after January 2009.

Legal opinions on this debate:
Download: When is the next elections? Q&A by IFES (pdf)
Download: Legal Opinion by Fatwa & Legislation Office regarding the presidential term of Mahmoud Abbas (pdf)
Download: Factsheet on Palestinian presidential elections by Nathan J. Brown (pdf)

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Facts about the Basic Law

The Palestinian Basic Law is to function as a temporary constitution for the Palestinian Authority until the establishment of an independent state and a permanent constitution for Palestine can be achieved.

The Basic Law was passed by the Palestinian Legislative Council in 1997 and ratified by President Yasser Arafat in 2002. It has subsequently been amended twice; in 2003 the political system was changed to introduce a prime minister. In 2005 it was amended to conform to the new Election Law. The 2003 reform was comprehensive and affected the whole nature of the Palestinian political system, whereas the 2005 amendment was only minor and affected only a few paragraphs.

A parallel effort has been made to draft a permanent Palestinian constitution for an independent state, but this was shelved in favor of amending the existing Basic Law.


About this site

This website presents a collection of various drafts and amendments related to the Basic Law and other constitutional texts that have been compiled from various other sources.

You can also expect to find links to news items and reports that are of relevance to Palestinian constitutional law, the electoral framework, political reform and the PA branches of government.

The website was created by the Norwegian journalists Erik Bolstad and Tonje M. Viken in February 2008. The site is a private initiative and has no affiliation to any organizations or authorities.

All external links are purely for information purposes and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors of this site.

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