Palestinian Legislative Council

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article
views updated

PALESTINIAN LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL

Palestinian national parliament (al-Majlis al-Tashriʿi al-Filastini) created under the Oslo Accords II as part of the Palestinian Authority (PA). The Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) first convened on 21 March 1996, after the first and, as of 2004, only elections in the territories, held on a universal-suffrage basis on 20 January. Presided over by Ahmad Sulayman Qurai, the PLC was comprised of 88 deputies, 34 of whom were chosen from the Gaza Strip and 54 from the West Bank. Its first session took place in Gaza, and the first debates concerned the platform and investiture, on 27 June, of the PA. The majority of the members of the PLC, whether independent or belonging to al-Fatah, supported the policies of the PA, headed by Yasir Arafat. On 16 October, at the invitation of the Israel Communist Party, the Knesset received a delegation of nine members of the PLC. Among the ten committees in the PLC, the political committee was presided over by Hanan Ashrawi, and that of interior and security by Fakhri Shakoura. The principal task of the PLC was the elaboration of organizational laws for civil administration, in preparation for Palestinian statehood. It therefore devoted a major portion of its activity to developing a "Basic Law," amenable to giving the Palestinian state a true constitution. Meant to last for the period of transitional autonomy, the mandate of the PLC has been extended due to the stalling of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

SEE ALSO Arafat, Yasir; Ashrawi, Hanan Daouda; Gaza Strip; Oslo Accords II; Qurai, Ahmad Sulayman; West Bank.