Hamas' Haniyah to head legislative Palestinian council

Saleh Naami , Monday 9 May 2011

Reports suggest that Ismail Haniyah will be nominated by Hamas as its candidate for the role of speaker in the Palestinian Parliament, which should be passed by their legislative majority

Hamas is considering putting forward Gaza government head Ismail Haniyah for the position of speaker of the Palestinian Parliament in the upcoming round of the legislative council, succeeding current head of parliament Aziz al-Duweik.

Informed sources told Ahram Online that Haniyah’s candidacy to head Parliament would create a “geographic balance” in the share of leading posts, which also includes the presidency and the premiership.

The sources said that what is pushing towards the appointment of Haniyah is the fear that Hamas may fail to convince other Palestinian factions to accept its candidate for the leadership of the transitional government to be formed in the wake of the unity deal between Fatah and Hamas.

Other sources are of the view that if Haniyah headed Parliament, it would grant Hamas a large manoeuvring space due to its presence in Gaza where the movement has a free hand. This is in contrast to al-Duweik who was always subject to arrest by the Israeli occupation forces, in addition to the Palestinian Authority, hindering him from fully carrying out his tasks.

Haniyah’s post as speaker would give Hamas a base of legitimacy allowing for it to operate in internal and external Palestinian affairs.

It is widely believed that Hamas will not encounter obstacles if it puts forth Haniyah as a candidate for the post due to its share in parliament, which exceeds half of the total seats available for lawmakers.

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