On 25 February, Horizon Center held a televised interview with senior PLO executive committee members Ahamd Majdalani and Saleh Rafat, who is also the serving secretary-general of the FIDA faction. The interview was held to discuss the upcoming Cairo meeting of all factions including Fatah and Hamas, the proposed agenda, as well as the factions’ preparations to hold the legislative elections.
Senior PLO official Ahmad al Majdalani said that his faction the national struggle prefers to delay this session of the Cairo meeting until after holding the general elections. He explained that this meeting was proposed to discuss the political basis upon which the PLO/PNC elections restructuring will be held as well as the technical mechanisms to restructure the PLO council. However, al Majdalani said that the 2006 National Conciliation Document (prisoners authored) document is the basis for holding all elections since this document is an agreed-upon common denominator for all PLO and Islamist factions i.e., Hamas and Islamic Jihad. He said that time and efforts must be concentrated now in order to render success to holding the legislative elections. He further added that after we hold the legislative elections successfully and inaugurate the new PLC, another meeting can be held to discuss the PLO / PNC elections and restructuring mechanisms. Al Majdalani stated that it is extremely unlikely that “elections” can be held for the PLO/ PNC. He said that with the coronavirus outbreak, logistical and political hardships of holding Palestinian elections in the diaspora countries, we may have to suffice with the legislative and presidential elections. He added that we would restructure the PLO/PNC taking into perspective the proportion of factions’ preparation in the legislative elections as a tool to restructure the PLO/ PNC.
On his part, Saleh Rafat of the PLO executive committee and head of FIDA said that so far the consultations with Fatah to build a national leftist coalition with Fatah to run in the elections is not successful, or at least no progress has been made. He said that his faction prefers to join Fatah on a national frontlist representing the PLO political, social, and economic platform. However, he said that FIDA will not accept being placed in a symbolic manner on such a list and is demanding at least three names in the first ten names on such a slate. He said if we fail to reach such an agreement, we will work with leftist PLO factions to form one leftist democratic slate. He added that at this point all options are open. Both officials also spoke of recent Hamas statements and actions in the Gaza strip which don’t reflect genuine and honest attitudes towards holding the general elections.
Click the link below to watch the roundtable discussion in full: