Sports minister Lima Danon on Tuesday said that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ proposal to extend his presidency until March 2017 and to name his successor has no legal validity.
Danon was speaking during a press conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
She said Abbas was right to seek legitimacy in his election, and that it is incumbent on him to present a proposal to the Palestinian people.
“Abbas has the right to extend the presidency until the end of his term,” Danon said.
“The Palestinian people should vote on this proposal.”
“We have no doubt that the Palestinian Authority will hold a new presidential election in the coming weeks,” she added.
“I believe that we will find a new president in the near future.”
Abbas will hold the Palestinian presidency from April 17 to May 7.
He will become the second Palestinian leader to hold the office, following former President Yasir Arafat, who held it for only six months.
He also announced his resignation.
Abbas has led the Palestinian leadership since the 1967 war ended in a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.
He and other PLO officials have been under intense pressure to step down, with many in the Palestinian political and media establishment calling for their ouster.
The Palestinian Authority is governed by the Palestinian Legislative Council, which represents Abbas and other key Palestinian leaders.