More than 60 Palestinian civil society organisations yesterday sent a letter to the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres stating that the Palestinian Authority (PA)'s President Mahmoud Abbas "had lost his legitimacy".
According to Safa news agency, the Palestinian organisations attributed their claims to article 36 of the Palestinian Basic Law of 2003 and its amendments in 2005.
The law's article states that "a president's term in office lasts for four years and the president has the right to run for a second term."
Based on the Palestinian Basic Law, the rights institutions stressed, Abbas has to run for another presidential election to be able to renew his legitimacy or hand over the leadership to his successor.
"Abbas has continued to hold the leadership on an illegal basis and with the support of the international community and the Arab states," the letter read, adding that Abbas was now "powerless".
Abbas should have left office a decade ago however he had returned on a "de facto" basis, they said.
"This has contributed to deepening the division between Palestinians and strengthening the constitutional and legal crisis that has raged on the Palestinian political scene," the civil organisations explained.