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Palestinian affairs.

--PNC Convenes in Ramallah Wednesday to Select PLO Exec. Committee Members

--Going Ahead Despite Hamas, Islamic Jihad Dismissal

The Palestine National Council (PNC), the legislative body of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), is due to convene on Wednesday and Thursday in Ramallah to replace six deceased members of the PLO Executive Committee, PNC head Salim Zaanoun stated, the Beirut daily AN NAHAR reported Tuesday. The PNC will hold an extraordinary meeting, as it is not possible to have a regular session due to lack of quorum, Zaanoun indicated. The PNC must convene on legal bases, according to Zaanoun. "In the event the PLO Executive Committee loses one-third of its members, they are supposed to be replaced within a month of losing the sixth member, otherwise it would become illegitimate," Zaanoun said, noting that six of the 18-member PLO Executive Committee have now passed away.

The head of the PNC, which has not convened under an ordinary session for years, stressed that the PNC will have "one clause on its agenda, which is complementing the PLO Executive Committee." Earlier reports said the PNC sessions on Wednesday and Thursday might look into restructuring the PLO, which met with fierce resistance from Palestinian movements Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The two groups, which are not part of the PLO, insist on giving the PLO an overhaul so as to integrate them in it and to better represent all Palestinian factions. Hamas and Islamic Jihad, including six other Damascus-based Palestinian factions, have called for boycotting the PNC extraordinary session, saying it is illegal, illegitimate, and would cement Palestinian division.

Zaanoun saw otherwise, however, arguing that the PNC will only convene so that the PLO Executive Committee does not lose its legitimacy, which is why the PNC will convene without the required quorum. "Two-thirds of the PNC are supposed to attend as per the PLO laws," which is 500 people, said Zaanoun, concurring that it is not possible to gather that many PNC members. He said 250 PNC members are in Gaza and "Hamas will not allow them to come" to Ramallah, while 55 Damascus-based members announced they will not attend. Zaanoun added that the PNC invited its various members who are based in 30 countries, including 80 Hamas Legislative Council (parliament) members "although they do not recognize the legitimacy of the PLO as a sole representative of the Palestinian people." He pointed out that 11 nominees are vying for one of the six vacant PLO Executive Committee seats.
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Title Annotation:Domestic Report
Publication:The Daily Middle East Reporter (Beirut, Lebanon)
Date:Aug 25, 2009
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Next Article:Mideast-Israel-Palestinians.

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