Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Democracy, Palestinian Arab style

From Ma'an:
Fatah has decided revitalize its committee in Gaza with young leaders, senior party official Nabil Shaath said Monday.

Fatah will hold a meeting when the president returns from an overseas trip to discuss appointing younger members to party leadership roles in Gaza, the central committee member said.

The central committee has decided that young members will constitute around half of the 15-member leadership committee in Gaza, Shaath told Ma'an.

The new committee will include young figures in important leadership positions for the first time, Shaath said. He declined to name any candidates.
No elections, no conventions, nobody being named publicly, just an announcement that the next generation of Fatah leaders in Gaza will be handpicked by some secret process in a wholly opaque manner.

It must be noted that the PA - whose leadership is supposed to be democratically elected, even though the current president is serving years past his official term and the prime minister was never elected - reports to the PLO, which has no elections. The PLO is dominated by Fatah. So self-appointed Fatah leaders are the real leaders of the PA, and the facade of democracy is nothing but a joke even when there were elections. 

The more populist and anti-corruption Hamas wouldn't do anything so anti-democratic like that, would they?
The results of Hamas' internal leadership re-shuffle are still confidential, party officials said Monday.

The Shura Council, a 55-member advisory body, nominates candidates to form the politburo, and those selected must accept their positions or provide acceptable reasons to refuse.

Political analyst Mustafa al-Sawwaf told Ma'an current politburo chief Khalid Mashaal was likely to retain his post.

Hamas' practice of appointing the politburo in a closed-door process, rather than allowing candidates to stand, means there will not be clashes between candidates, al-Sawwaf added.

An official told Ma'an in January that Mashaal could not stand again as he has served the party's limit of two terms in office, but with the procedures shrouded in secrecy, it was not possible to verify if such a bar restricted Mashaal's candidacy.

If the Shura Council selects Mashaal to head the politburo, he will have to obey the decision if the council rejects his reasons to refuse the post, al-Sawwaf said.