Palestinians mull reviving parliament at Cairo talks


Palestinian factions meeting in Cairo were mulling on Wednesday ways to reactivate their national parliament, which has been paralysed since 2007 following the split between the West Bank and Gaza. All the main factions, led by the former rivals Hamas and Fatah, are meeting in the Egyptian capital to thrash out ways of implementing a reconciliation deal that was signed in May but has never been implemented. On Wednesday, they were discussing how to reactivate the work of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), which has not passed a single law since 2007, when Hamas forced Fatah forces out of Gaza, splitting the Palestinian territories into two rival administrations. Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, who heads the Fatah movement, was to arrive in Cairo later on Wednesday, as was Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, with the two expected to hold talks during the evening, officials said. On Tuesday, delegates had agreed to set up a new electoral commission and also set a deadline for the formation of a caretaker cabinet of independents as envisaged in the May agreement. During the talks, the factions agreed to form a nine-member Central Election Commission under the committee’s current head, Hanna Nasser. Abbas, who has said elections will be held in May, will have to approve the composition of the CEC, Fatah delegation head Azzam al-Ahmed told AFP.