Mahmoud Abbas, also known by the kunya Abu Mazen, is a Palestinian statesman. He has been the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization since 11 November 2004 and has been President of the State of Palestine since 15 January 2005. Abbas is a member of the Fatah party.
Mahmoud Abbas was elected to serve until 9 January 2009, but due to Palestinian Internal conflict he unilaterally extended his term for another year and continues in office even years after that second deadline expired. As a result of this, Fatah's main rival, Hamas announced that it would not recognise the extension or view Abbas as rightful president. Abbas was chosen as the President of the State of Palestine by the Palestine Liberation Organization'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 Department. One of his chief negotiators is Saeb Erekat.