The PLO’s Central Council has begun a meeting which is expected to extend the term of President Mahmoud Abbas until elections can be held. His presidency of the Palestinian Authority runs out on January 25th.
Abbas has made it clear he will not seek a second term. An election to choose his successor was cancelled after the Islamist Hamas movement said it would prohibit voting in the Gaza strip.
Hamas, which is not part of the PLO, has said any extension of Abbas’ term would be illegitimate. The meeting is also expected to extend the life of the Palestinian parliament. Hamas won the 2006 elections but the parliament hasn’t convened since Hamas took over Gaza the following year.