RAMALLAH, West Bank (AFP) – The parliament of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) elected on Thursday six new members to its executive body.
Among the six elected are Ahmed Qorei, a veteran who recently lost his position in the leadership of the secular Fatah movement, along with top negotiator Saeb Erakat, and lawmaker Hanan Ashrawi, a PLO spokesman said.
The Palestinian National Council (PNC), the organisation’s parliament, last held a plenary meeting in 1996, and was replacing members of the PLO’s 18-member Executive Committee who have since died.
Among Executive Committee members who died in recent years was iconic Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who passed away in 2004 in a Paris hospital.
The Executive Committee is headed by Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas.
The PLO groups the main Palestinian nationalist factions, including Abbas’s Fatah, but not the Islamist Hamas which has ruled the Gaza enclave since 2007.
It created the Palestinian Authority in July 1994 when Arafat returned to Palestinian land after 27 years in exile.
The international community recognises the PLO as the “sole and legitimate” representative of the Palestinian people, but Hamas disputes that claim and has in the past sought to create a rival body.