Mahmoud Abbas, also known by the kunya Abu Mazen, has been the
Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation since 11 November
2004 and became President of the Palestinian National Authority on
15 January 2005 on the Fatah ticket. Elected to serve until 9
January 2009, he unilaterally extended his term for another year.
Rival political party Hamas announced it would not recognise the
extension. Abbas was chosen as the President of the State of
Palestine by the Palestine Liberation Organisation's Central
Council on 23 November 2008, a job he had held unofficially since 8
May 2005. Abbas served as the first Prime Minister of the
Palestinian Authority from March to October 2003 when he resigned
citing lack of support from Israel and the United States as well as
"internal incitement" against his government. Before being named
prime minister, Abbas led the PLO's Negotiations Affairs
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