Abbas' term was indefinitely extended by the The Central Council of the PLO
Being President of Palestine is a fun job. Not only do you get a fake country to play with while getting to blame a real country for all your problems, but you never have to stand for reelection.
Just blame Israel for the fact that you're on the 10th year of your four-year-term and that you don't actually have the right to run the country because Hamas won the election.
The fact that Abbas has is now in his tenth year of his four-year term in office should also serve as a reminder to Kerry that the PA president does not really have a mandate from his people to sign any agreement with Israel.
Abbas, who turns 79 in March, became President of the PA on January 2005. He was elected to serve until January 9, 2009.
By remaining in power beyond his term, Abbas has given Hamas and other Palestinians a good excuse to argue that he is in no way authorized to sign a peace agreement with Israel.
"Mahmoud Abbas's term in office expired a long time ago," said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri. "He has lost his legitimacy. He does not have a mandate to negotiate or sign an agreement."
What this basically means is that Hamas and other Palestinian groups are not going to accept any deal between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, even if it includes far-reaching concessions on the part of Israel.
It's actually worse than that. Abbas has sidelined the Prime Minister and is once again effectively running the kleptocracy on his own.
Abbas won in 2005, but Hamas won in 2006 and their terrorist thug became Prime Minister as part of a deal with Fatah. After the breakup of the deal and the resulting civil war, the Hamas dominated Palestinian Legislative Council hasn't met since then making Abbas into an effective dictator.
Abbas' term was not extended by the legislature in 2009, instead it was indefinitely extended by the The Central Council of the PLO so there isn't even anything remotely resembling democracy in the mix here.
The PLO Council, composed of PLO officials, began making it official last year that they were taking over the functions of the legislature severing even the illusion of democracy.
It was the PLO Council that picked Arafat. And then the PLO Council picked Abbas to head a country that doesn't even exist.
Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, has been elected the president of the future state of Palestine by the Palestinian Liberation Organisation.
Why not? Who needs the formality of elections or countries anyway.
With the Arab Spring, Obama and Hillary began lecturing Israelis that they have to sign agreements with peoples, not dictators, how exactly is Abbas not a dictator and why is Israel expected to put any faith in an agreement with a political entity that won't even hold elections?
Israel is still dealing with the front man for the PLO who keeps talking about a Palestinian State, but runs everything the same way that the PLO did.