For the past 11 years, the Palestinian Authority has been without a functioning parliament. The 132-member Palestinian Legislative Council was established after the signing of the Oslo Accord in 1993. It has not been functioning since 2007, when Hamas violently seized control of Gaza and toppled the Palestinian Authority regime there.
In the absence of a functioning parliament, PA President Mahmoud Abbas has been passing laws by "presidential decree." He has effectively replaced the PLC as the sole lawmaker for the Palestinians, making him into an autocratic and totalitarian president unaccountable to anyone. Worse, Abbas has also used his powers to punish those members of parliament who dare to criticize him or his policies.
The Fatah Revolutionary Council, dominated by Abbas loyalists, recommended on Oct. 14 that the Palestinian president dissolve the PLC. By sidelining the PLC, Abbas and his loyalists have destroyed any dream the Palestinians ever had of having a functioning parliament.