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Abbas shuffles PLO Executive Committee, ousts Qaddoumi

Sept. 12, 2009 11:49 A.M. (Updated: Sept. 14, 2009 9:43 A.M.)
Ramallah – Ma’an – In a prolonged meeting of the Executive Committee of PLO in Ramallah on Thursday, members decided to oust Faouq Qaddoumi, the former Fatah leader who accused Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah leader Muhammad Dahlan of conspiring to kill former President Yasser Arafat.

The meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organization saw a redistribution of posts and the creation of new departments. The meeting followed precisely one month the re-election of Abbas as head of the Fatah party during the movement’s Sixth Congress in Bethlehem, where a new Central Committee and Revolutionary Council were elected.

Qaddoumi, a former Central Council member in Fatah, highlighted internal divisions in the party when he accused Abbas and Dahlan, now the head of the party and a Central Committee member respectively, of conspiring with the CIA in the poisoning of Arafat.

Earlier in the week reports that Tunisia, where Qaddoumi is living in exile, and Jordan, from where he gave the interview accusing Abbas and Dahlan of conspiracy, prohibited Qaddoumi from holding press conferences or meetings that might provoke the current Palestinian leadership. Qaddoumi confirmed the reports when he gave an interview aired in satellite channels, during which he said “not all what I said necessarily expressing my thoughts.”

Changes to the PLO

Abbas, as head of the Palestinian Authority (PA) called the meeting in Ramallah, and was appointed to take over Qaddoumi’s post of Head of the Political Department. He takes the post in addition to his role as Secretary General.

In an unprecedented move, the PLO-EC decided to permanently invite Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to attend the meetings of the Committee, in what sources said was an effort to integrated the stance of the government and the PLO.

Yaser Abed Rabbo was re-appointed as secretary of the Executive Committee, which voted to retain Saeb Erekat as head of the Negotiations Department. Erekat is a member of the PLO’s Central Council as an independent. Ahmad Quri’a will remain in his post as head of Jerusalem Affairs. He was a member of the PLO Central Council as one of 20 appointees from the Palestinian Legislative Council.

New appointments for the PLO-CC and portfolio holders include:

Hanan Ashrawi, newly appointed to the PLO Central Council, now head of Culture and Media

Saleh Ra’fat, newly appointed PLO-CC member, now head of the military Dept.

As’ad Abed Ar-Rahman, newly appointed PLO-CC member, will head of the restructured Palestinian Research Center

Ahmad Al-Majdalani, newly appointed to the PLO-CC, will head the Palestinian Planning Center

Zakarieya Al-Agha, remains a PLO-EC member, now responsible for the Refugee Dept.

Abdul Rahim Mallouh, remains a PLO- EC member, now head of the new Arab Relations Dept.

Mohammad Zuhdi An-Nashashibi, remains a PLO-EC member and now head of the Palestinian National Fund

Hanna Amira, remains a PLO-EC member, now head of Dept. of Social Affairs

Taysir Khalid, remains a PLO-EC member and now head of the department of Expatriates Affairs

Ghassan Ash-Shaka’a, remains a PLO-EC member, now head of international relations

Mahmoud Ismail, remains a PLO-EC member, now head of the Popular Organizing Dept.

Riyadh Al-Khudari, remains a PLO-EC member, now heads the Higher Education Dept.

Ali Ishaq, remains a PLO-EC member, now head of the Youth and Sports Dept. Ishaq replaces Ahmad Al-Qidwa.

New parties included in representation

Jamil Shahada, secretary general of the Palestinian Arab Front will represent the party

Wasel Abu Yousef, secretary general of the Palestinian Liberation Front will represent the party

The two will also sit as observers in Executive Committee meetings

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