- President of the Palestinian National Authority
Palestinian National Authority
This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
the Palestinian National Authority
- Prime Minister
- Legislative Council (members)
- Political parties
- Foreign relations
- Recognition of Palestine
- Palestinian Authority passport
- Fatah–Hamas conflict
- Israeli-Palestinian conflict
- State of Palestine
The President of the Palestinian National Authority (Arabic: رئيس السلطة الوطنية الفلسطينية) is the highest-ranking political position (equivalent to head of state) in the Palestinian National Authority (PNA).
The President appoints the Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority from the Palestinian Legislative Council, with whom he shares power.
The Arabic term Ra'ees or Ra'is (رئيس) can be translated to English as either "President" or "Chairman". As the status of Palestine as a political entity is controversial, the use of the term President to describe the leader of the Palestinian government is controversial to some, as its use may be seen to imply a recognition of state sovereignty. The use of the term "Chairman" is controversial for the opposite reason—its use may be seen to imply denial of Palestinian aspirations for statehood. 
The Arabic term was used in the English text of the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, part of the Oslo accords which established the PNA. In practice, when referring to the ra'ees in English documents and statements, the PNA uses the term "president", whereas Israel uses "chairman".
The United States, in its role as peace broker, uses several different terms according to context. News releases from its embassy in Israel refer to the PNA "chairman"; press briefings in Washington use "president"; both occasionally avoid the issue with "Palestinian leader". The international English-language press mostly (but not always) follows the Palestinian terminology. Israeli press refers to the leader variously as "ra'ees", "president", "chairman" or by name alone.
A letter delivered from Yasser Arafat to the then Prime Minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, as part of the Gaza-Jericho agreement stated that "When Chairman Arafat enters the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area, he will use the title 'Chairman (Ra'ees in Arabic) of the Palestinian Authority' or 'Chairman of the PLO', and will not use the title 'President of Palestine.'" There are some documents signed by Arafat as 'Chairman'. The same term was used by Bill Clinton during 2000 Camp David Summit.
Election and term of office
The President is elected directly by the Palestinian people for a four year presidential term.
Powers and responsibilities
- Commander-in-Chief of the Palestinian Forces
- Sends and receives all foreign ambassadors
- Veto bills within 30 days of passage with 2/3 majority needed to over turn veto
- May grant pardons or commute sentences but not general amnesty
- If Legislative Council is not in session, in exceptional cases, can issues decrees with force of law, but decrees must be presented to Legislative Council as soon as convened for approval or cease to have force of law
- Appoints the Prime Minister and may remove him
- Order the Prime Minister to call together the Council of Ministers
- No right to dissolve the Legislative council and call for early elections.
Oath of office
Before assuming the office, the President takes the following oath before the Legislative Council, and in the presence of the Speaker of the Palestinian National Council, the Chief of the Supreme Court:
- I swear to God almighty to be faithful to the Homeland and to its sacred places, and to the people and its national heritage, and to respect the Constitutional system and the law, and to safeguard the interests of the Palestinian people completely, as God is my witness.
The office of the President is considered vacant in any of the following cases:
- Resignation submitted to the Palestinian Legislative Council if accepted by two thirds of its Members
- Considered legally incompetent, as per a ruling issued by the Supreme Constitutional Court, and subsequently approved by two thirds of the Palestinian Legislative Council
If the office of the President of the National Authority becomes vacant due to any of the above cases, the Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council assumes the powers and duties of the Presidency of the National Authority, temporarily for a period not exceeding sixty days, during which free and direct elections to choose a new president are required to take place in accordance with the Palestinian election laws.
List of Presidents
# Name Picture Born-Died Took Office Left Office Political Party 1 Yasser Arafat 1929–2004 5 July 1994 11 November 2004 Fatah (interim) Rawhi Fattouh 1949- 11 November 2004 15 January 2005 Fatah 2 Mahmoud Abbas 1935- 15 January 2005 Incumbent Fatah (interim) Aziz Duwaik c. 1950- 15 January 2009 Incumbent Hamas
Yasser Arafat was the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization and became the Palestinian National Authority's first president when the governing body was created in 1994. His rule was validated by an election on January 20, 1996, but future elections were suspended. Arafat remained president until his death on 11 November 2004, at which point Palestinian house speaker Rauhi Fattouh assumed most of Arafat's duties and became interim president. However, he never formally assumed the title. New elections were held in January 2005, and won by Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas's term expired on 9 January 2009, creating a constitutional crisis. Abbas unilaterally extended his term by one year and is recognised as President by the government of Salam Fayad, which governs parts of the West Bank. Since then, however Aziz Duwaik, as the Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, is recognised as acting President by the government of Ismail Haniyeh that governs the Gaza Strip.
- Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization
- President of the State of Palestine
- Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority
- Leaders of Palestinian institutions
- ^ 
- ^ "Gaza-Jericho letters". http://www.palestine-un.org/peace/p_d.html.
- ^ The Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum on Implementation Timeline of Outstanding Commitments of Agreements Signed and the Resumption of Permanent Status Negotiations; September 4, 1999
- ^ «The President: «Good morning. Early next week, Prime Minister Barak and Chairman Arafat will come to Camp David at my invitation»
- ^ Died in office
- ^ Interim
- ^ President of the Palestinian National Authority of the Government in the West Bank
- ^ Acting President of the Palestinian National Authority of the Government in the Gaza Strip
- Palestine National Authority, Office of the Prime Minister (English)
- The Palestinian Basic Law - A collection of various proposals and amendments to the Basic Law of Palestine
Presidents of the Palestinian National Authority
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Politics of the Palestinian National Authority — Political developments since 1993Israel and the PLO signed the Oslo Accords which established the Palestinian National Authority a governing body for the interim period pending final status negotiations.Executive branchPresident Mahmoud Abbas… … Wikipedia
Elections in the Palestinian National Authority — (PNA) gives information on election and election results in the Palestinian territories allowed to hold elections. Palestine elects on national level a head of state the president and a legislature. Until 2007, the National Council had 133… … Wikipedia
Governorates of the Palestinian National Authority — Governorates of the Palestinian authority After the signing of the Oslo Accords, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip were divided into three areas (Area A, Area B, and Area C) and 16 governorates under the jurisdiction of… … Wikipedia
Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority — The Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority is the head of government of the Palestinian government. TermThe Prime Minister is appointed by the President of the Palestinian National Authority and thus not directly elected by the… … Wikipedia
Postage stamps and postal history of the Palestinian National Authority — The Palestinian National Authority began in 1994 to issue stamps and operate postal services as authorized by the Oslo Accords.Postal serviceStarting in 1994 5, the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) established post offices throughout the PNA … Wikipedia
Foreign relations of the Palestinian National Authority — The Palestinian Declaration of Independence, led to Palestine s recognition by 96 states and to the renaming of the PLO mission in the UN to Palestine. After the formation of the Palestinian Authority, many countries exchanged embassies and… … Wikipedia
Education Minister of the Palestinian National Authority — The Ministry of Education and Higher Education of the Palestinian National Authority is the branch of the Palestinian government in charge of managing the education in the Palestinian territories. It was established in 1994 after the formation of … Wikipedia
Electoral districts of the Palestinian National Authority — Palestinian National Authority This article is part of the series: Politics and government of the Palestinian National Authority An … Wikipedia
2006-2007 economic sanctions against the Palestinian National Authority — The 2006 2006 economic sanctions against the Palestinian National Authority were economic sanctions imposed by Israel and the Quartet on the Middle East against the Palestinian National Authority following the January 2006 legislative elections… … Wikipedia
Human rights in the Palestinian National Authority — This article outlines the human rights record of the Palestinian Authority leadership in the West Bank and Gaza. It also outlines some Human Rights conditions experienced in the Palestinian Territories, apart from those associated with Israeli… … Wikipedia