[JURIST] The Hamas-controlled Palestinian Legislative Council [official website] on Monday voted to strip Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas [BBC profile] of powers given him last month by the lame-duck parliament dominated by Abbas' Fatah party [party website]. Among those was the authority to appoint a constitutional court [JURIST report] empowered to cancel any law approved by the newly-elected Hamas-led assembly considered contrary to the Palestinian Constitution [text]. The vote to strip Abbas of the expanded powers was the first order of business as the new parliament convened Monday.
Hamas [ICT profile], considered by much of the international community to be a terrorist organization, gained control of parliament after its surprise victory [JURIST report] during January elections. Monday's vote prompted Fatah MPs to walk out [Xinhua report] of the session, and Fatah parliamentary leader Azzam al-Ahmed said that the lawmakers would not return until differences with Hamas had been resolved. Another Fatah MP said that the party would appeal Monday's vote to the Palestinian Supreme Court. AP has more.