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Construction of “Democratic Palestine” Possible Within Four Years

Construction of “Democratic Palestine” Possible Within Four Years

Posted November. 14, 2004 23:25,   


After the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, the United States’ new Mideast peace policy is showing its appearance. The focus is on the construction of an independent Palestine co-existing with Israel, and the spread of democracy. Re-elected president George W. Bush met with British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Friday, promising to work towards constructing a peaceful and democratic Palestine during his four year term in office.

The New Mideast Peace Plan by the U.S.-

After their summit meeting, President Bush and Prime Minister Blair announced a joint statement in which both parties agreed to build an international support system to help Palestine to build its political, economic, and security structure. During the press conference, President Bush said, “We expect to work with the Palestinian leaders who are determined to pursue democratic reform and fight against terrorism.”

Prime Minister Blair emphasized, “The most important thing is the foundation of a viable Palestine agreement to be reached. I agree with President Bush’s meaning of a democratic nation.”

The start of the Democratic Palestine construction stated by the two summits refers to the Palestinian elections to choose Arafat`s successor slated for before January 9 of next year. President Bush asserted, “The election will be the first step for Palestine towards democratic political institutions.”

President Bush showed a positive stance towards Prime Minister Blair’s comments for a Mideast Peace international conference and the need of the U.S. to appoint an envoy to Middle East. The Washington Post reported, “Breaking away from the custom of dislike to send a special envoy, White House officials are open to changes and looking into Prime Minister Blair’s proposition of sending an envoy to the Middle East to supervise President Bush’s Mideast peace policy.” The foreign news reported that the U.S. is considering Secretary of State Colin Powell to make calls in the Middle East area besides appointing an envoy to the Middle East. The AFP agency reported that U.S. administrative high-ranking officials said, “We are discussing with counterparts the appropriate time for the (Powell) dispatch, but no schedule has been set yet.”

The Democratic Election is the Key-

As soon as the funeral of Arafat was over, the Palestinian self-government began preparing for its election.

Prime Minister Queria stated that according to the law, the Palestinian elections to choose Arafat`s successor should be held within 60 days, before January 9 of next year, and asked for international help to carry out the election plan. Also, he stated that a local election will be held in December and a self-assembly election before March of next year. There was not a single election held in Palestine after Arafat took office in 1996.

Palestinian Cabinet Minister Saeb Erekat stated that there was a meeting with the election administration committee on Sunday to decide if the session to name Rauhi Fattouh acting President should be held on January 7 or 9 of next year. The biggest variable in the election to choose the successor, the pre-condition for the independent Palestine proposed by President Bush and Prime Minister Blair, depends on the participation of Hamas, a radical armed force, in the election. In order to collect the general opinion of the Palestinian people and gain justness, the participation of Hamas in the election should be allowed.

Soon-Taek Kwon Young-Sik Kim maypole@donga.com spear@donga.com