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)