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PCC elects Abbas as president of Palestine state
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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was overwhelmingly elected by the Palestinian Central Council (PCC) on Sunday as the president of the future state of Palestine.

The PCC, which has around 126 members representing all Palestinian factions and groups in Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), convened in West Bank city of Ramallah for two days which was chaired by Abbas.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas gives a speech during the opening the Palestinian central council in the West Bank city of Ramallah on November 23, 2008. [AFP PHOTO]

The Palestinian National Council (PNC), the parliament in exile, had elected in Nov. 15, 1988 late leader Yasser Arafat as the president of state of Palestine.

Arafat was president of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and chairman of the PLO. After he died in November 2004, Abbas was elected as the PLO Executive Committee Chairman and in January 2005 he was elected as the president of the PNA.

Meanwhile, Hamas movement slammed the PCC decision of choosing Abbas as president of the state of Palestine, saying that both the PCC and the PLO are not representing the Palestinian people.

Mushir el-Masri, a Hamas lawmaker, said in a statement that the PCC decision aims at extending the presidential term for Abbas which "according to the Palestinian basic law, ends by January 9, 2009."

"Such actions would complicate the current internal situation and would increase obstacles to hold the national dialogue and to reach a national Palestinian reconciliation," said al-Masri.

An independent Palestinian state has not been established yet, as Gaza Strip has been ruled by Islamic Hamas movement since mid June last year, while the PNA and Fatah movement controls parts of the West Bank.

Israel imposes a tight blockade on Gaza Strip and occupies large areas in the West Bank.

(Xinhua News Agency November 24, 2008)


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