Palestinians draft first state constitution

Ramallah: Palestinians announced on Monday the finalising of the State of Palestine’s first Constitution draft, according to an official.

Ahmed Al-Khaldi, who headed the drafting committee, told Xinhua that an official committee was commissioned to prepare a constitution for the state, not for a national authority nor an interim authority.

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He explained that intensive work has been carried out since May to prepare the 273 constitution articles which will merge parliamentary and presidential governing systems.

Al-Khaldi explained that the draft guarantees the rights of Palestinians, such as the refugees’ right to return and to compensation “according to resolutions set by the international authorities,” as well as maintaining both the role and position of Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) in the Palestinian political system.

He said that the committee had submitted the draft to the Palestinian Constitution Committee, headed by the speaker of the Palestinian National Council (PNC), Salem Zanoun.

The Palestinian Constitution Committee will finalise an edition and present it to Palestinian party leaders before organising a national referendum, explained Al-Khaldi.

PNC speaker Zanoun said the need to establish the constitution is one of the state’s founding principles, adding the constitution is one of the advantages of being acknowledged by the United Nations in 2012.

The draft committee resumed its work in May after a hiatus of over three years.

However, Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements berated the Palestinian National Authority for not coordinating with them in shaping the constitution.