Palestinian lawyers protest against Abbas governing by ‘decree’

by | Jul 25, 2022 | World

The Palestinian parliament has been inactive since 2007, leaving President Mahmoud Abbas to rule without a functioning parliament.Hundreds of Palestinian lawyers have held a rare street protest in the occupied West Bank against the Palestinian Authority’s “rule by decree”, condemning President Mahmoud Abbas for governing without a parliament.
The Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) – created under the Oslo Accords with Israel – has been inactive since 2007, meaning Abbas has led without a functioning parliament for nearly all of his tenure as president.
But a new leadership at the Palestinian Bar Association has sought to pressure the Palestinian Authority (PA).
The association’s President Suheil Ashour told AFP news agency at the protest in the city of Ramallah on Monday that his body would stand firm against legislation delivered by presidential decree that curbed Palestinian “rights and freedoms”.
“Our demand is either to stop their implementation now or to cancel” a raft of restrictive laws, said Ashour, who pushed for reforms when he was elected association president earlier this year.
The draft Palestinian constitution allows for presidential decrees “if necessary”, in cases where the PLC cannot act, but lawyers at the protest said Abbas has gone too far.
“These laws don’t only affect the Bar Association, but also the Palestinian people as a whole. I am here to tell President Abbas that these decrees destroy the judicial system, destroy the ruling authority, and could start a civil war,” Zainab al-Salfity, a lawyer, told Al Jazeera.
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