RAMALLAH, West Bank — A political leader’s decision not to seek re-election usually triggers fervent discussion about potential heirs. Yet, President Mahmoud Abbas’ withdrawal from the Jan. 24 presidential election has produced nothing of the kind in Palestine — not because of a reluctance to mention possible successors, but because the presidency of the Palestinian Authority has become irrelevant.
Abbas’ withdrawal comes at a time when Palestinian frustration with the political process has rendered suspect the entire rationale behind the PA, established in the mid-1990s, following the Oslo Accords.
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