Monday, January 1, 1996

EU Elections Unit (EUEU), charged with observing the elections process, criticizes Arafat for violating election laws, incl. shortening the campaign period fr. 22 days to 2 wks. and increasing the number of Palestinian Council seats fr. 82 to 88 . The changes were made by Arafat, not by the CEC. (WT 1/2; Guardian 1/2 in FBIS 1/2; MM 1/2; CSM, WJW 1/4; JP 1/6; WJW 1/11)

Saudi Arabia's ailing King Fahd turns over royal authority to his half-brother Crown Prince `Abdallah. Officially, Fahd's leave is temporary; `Abdullah will serve as regent, deferring major political decisions to Fahd. (MM 1/2; WP 1/7)