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Pioneering Palestinian politician explains why she resigned from PLO

Former The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) executive committe member, Hanan Ashrawi speaks during a press conference on February 24, 2015 in the West Bank city of Ramallah [ABBAS MOMANI/AFP via Getty Images]
Former The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) executive committe member, Hanan Ashrawi speaks during a press conference on February 24, 2015 in the West Bank city of Ramallah [ABBAS MOMANI/AFP via Getty Images]

A pioneering Palestinian politician has told Donia Al-Watan newspaper that her resignation from the Palestinian Liberation Organisation's Executive Committee was not connected to the upcoming elections in May. Dr Hanan Ashrawi pointed out that she had already submitted her resignation before the election was announced.

"When I resigned, I asked President Mahmoud Abbas to call for elections and to convene the Palestinian National Council," she told the Palestinian newspaper. "I have no intention to run for any new political position. I'll leave the floor for others."

Ashrawi explained that she is currently working in civil society, stays in touch with her many contacts, and writes. "I do all of this voluntarily, not in any official capacity. I promised many young men and women and independent [candidates] that I will support them and carry out media campaigns for them."

The veteran legislator, activist, and scholar — her PhD is from the University of Virginia — was the first woman to be elected to a senior position in the PLO's Executive Committee. She resigned from her post in December, calling for political reforms. Dr Ashrawi has for many years been one of the most eloquent advocates of the Palestinian cause in the English language.

OPINION: Hanan Ashrawi's resignation was evidence that the PLO is no longer important

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