Pioneering Palestinian politician explains why she resigned from PLO

Former PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi (Abbas Momani - AFP)

Middle East Monitor  /  February 2, 2021

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.