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Arafat: The line of succession

Constiution: Speaker of Palestinian House to assume presidency

Yasser Arafat is shown at his headquarters in the West Bank town of Ramallah in September.
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Yasser Arafat

(CNN) -- With Yasser Arafat's death the Palestinian constitution provides that the speaker of the Palestinian House of Representatives, Rawhi Fattuh, should assume the presidency.

With the speaker in temporary power, the constitution calls for elections within 60 days to fill the post.

The president holds office for a five-year term and can stand for re-election once.

Articles 119 and 120 of the constitution cover a presidential vacancy:

Article (118)

The presidency of the state shall fall vacant by:

  • Upon death of the incumbent, or
  • Upon resignation, or
  • Should the Constitutional Court on a reference from the House of Representatives by two-thirds majority of the total of its membership, rule that the president of the state is incapacitated and unable.
  • Article (119)

    Should the presidency of the state fall vacant for any reason whatsoever, or should the House of Representatives proceed with impeachment as provided in Article 90 of this Constitution, the speaker of the house shall temporarily exercise the powers and duties of the president of the state.

    In accordance with the election's law, the ballot for the election of the new president shall be held not more than 60 days after the beginning of the vacancy.

    Should the speaker of the house decide to go for candidacy for the office of presidency, or a legal hindrance prevents him from assuming the presidency, the president of the constitutional court shall temporarily assume the presidency until elections for the president is being held.

    In this manner, the president of the court shall not be an eligible candidate for presidency.

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