The Impact of Power Duality on Political Development in the Palestinian national Authority after the Second Legislative Elections

Dr.Nayef Abu Khalaf
Ghassan Saed Issa Yousif
This study discusses the impact of power duality on political development in the Palestinian Authority (PA) following the second legislative elections in 2006. The thesis of this study assumes that the power duality negatively affected the work, performance and functions of the PA,s institutions after the success of Hamas in the elections. As a result this duality led to conflict between the institutions of the political system, and the two major parties in the PA which eventually resulted in a political, institutional and geographical division of the institutions and organs of the P A. Such conflict contributes to obstructing the possibilities and prospects of political development in the P A. In conducting this study, the researcher applied the descriptive analytical approach to answer the study's questions, and to discuss the study’s hypotheses. This study consists of five chapters: chapter 1 discusses the study's background, problem, importance, questions, assumptions, and its limitations. Furthermore, it provides a literature review of previous studies conducted, and definitions for key terms. Chapter II deals with the theoretical framework of the political development issue and the main patterns of political systems, The researcher reviews the various theories of development which have been identified into three main theories: the Modernization theory; the Marxism theory of political development; and the Dependency theory. The researcher reviews the evolution and change on political development theories in the globalization era. Also the researcher reviews the characteristics of the three main political systems: the parliamentary; presidential; and mixed system. The researcher analyzes the impact of the power duality on political development in the P A based on the elements of political development: the separation of powers; rationalization of power, in terms of power assumption, exercise, and circulation on the basis of constitutional and legal controls; the ability of the political system to perform its functions and solve the problems of political development; equality in opportunities, participation, and equality before the law. Chapter III deals with the characteristics and structure of the new Palestinian political system which was formulated after the establishment of the P A in 1994, in terms of its political institutions, components, and the effective actors in itsinternal environment, and the influence of externalenvironment in the system. Chapter IV examines the sources of power duality. The researcher identifies different sources of duality; duality resulting from the constitutional system of the P A, which establishes a bilateral executive power between the Palestinian President and the Council of Ministers; duality resulting from the overlap of the functions of the PLO and the P A as two components of the Palestinian political system, without having any separation between them, nor clarity of their boundaries and which constitutes a reference to the other. In addition, the absence of agreement between the political forces on programs and objectives is another factor of power duality. In chapter V the researcher analyzes the impact of duality on the issues of political development in the P A by focusing on the consequences of duality on the internal environment of the system despite the fact that the external factors, affecting the Palestinian political system, plays an important role in formulating the internal situation. The study also analyzes the impact of duality on the separation of powers principle, mainly, the Executive Power's control over the functions of other powers following the division between the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The study concludes that the exercise and circulation of the power in the Palestinian political system is not carried out according to specific constitutional and legal rules, especially the Palestinian Basic Law. Also the study shows a decline in the capacities of the political system in performing its extractive, distributive and responsiveness functions. It also demonstrates the failure of the institutions and organs of the system to cope with the problems of the political development, mainly: legitimacy; distribution; penetration; and participation, which have been strengthened as a result of the conflict over power. In addition to the citizens inequality before the law and benefiting of available opportunities and resources. At the end of the study, the researcher provides the conclusions of the study and recommendations that would contribute to solve the problem of power duality and its negative impacts on the political development of the P A.
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