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Abbas asks Fayyad to form new government
Published Monday 14/02/2011 (updated) 15/02/2011 15:01
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Salam Fayyad submits his government’s resignation to President Mahmoud
Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah on February 14, 2011.
[MaanImages/Thaer Ganaim, Pool]
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad tendered his government's resignation Monday, just months before expected local and legislative elections.

The move, announced during an early morning cabinet meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah, had been discussed since June 2010, with the latest delay due to the popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, officials said.

Following the resignation, Abbas asked Fayyad to work to appoint a new cabinet, which would focus on "mobilizing the energy of Palestinians to support national institutions with the aim of quickly establishing a Palestinian state by September."

Abbas directed Fayyad to consult civil society, institutions and the political factions as he formed the new cabinet, and thanked the outgoing members for their time and efforts.

Officials said at least one new ministry would be created, under the tentative title of Ministry of Civil Society, while seven others would change, including the ministries of health, agriculture, tourism, and foreign affairs.

"The new government will represent all the PLO factions in the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem, and will also include academic personalities," the source said.

Reforming the cabinet is expected to take two weeks, a government source told Ma'an ahead of the resignation.

The source said 19 government ministerial positions are expected, down from the current 21.

A government official recently told AFP that consultations on forming a new government had been delayed by the popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.

In an interview with The Washington Post on Sunday, Fayyad said he was confident of Egypt's future support for the PA, despite the political changes there that resulted in the departure of President Hosni Mubarak Friday.

"Why would I presume that Egypt in the aftermath of this movement is going to be any less supportive?" he asked. "Egyptian people are very supportive of the Palestinian people."

On Saturday, the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank announced plans to hold elections by September, running into immediate opposition from its Islamist Hamas rivals in the Gaza Strip.

The Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee's call for presidential and legislative polls came amid stalemate in Israeli-Palestinian talks and the political upheaval in Egypt, a key player in peace efforts.

Hamas had already killed off a PA plan to hold a Palestinian general election in January 2010.

The Islamist movement scored a surprise triumph in a legislative election in 2006 and seized control of Gaza in June 2007, ousting Fatah in a week of deadly street fighting.

The PLO, which groups the main Palestinian nationalist movements but not Hamas, has been led by Abbas since 2004. His mandate as president expired in January 2009 but was extended until new polls to avoid a political vacuum.

"The Executive Committee has decided to start preparations for presidential and parliamentary elections in the coming months ... no later than September," the PLO's Yasser Abed Rabbo told journalists on Saturday.

Hamas immediately rejected the latest elections plan. "This procedure is invalid because president Abbas has no legitimacy and is not fit to organize such elections," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said.

Abbas's government last week also called local elections for July 9, the first Palestinian vote since 2006. But the Hamas rulers of Gaza vowed to ignore that decision, limiting the poll to the West Bank.

AFP contributed to this report
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1 ) dmkhry / Palestine
14/02/2011 11:26
Cowards all of them! acting to be all democratic! Shame on them! we all know they're only shuffling, and exchanging places!

2 ) Salma / Palestine
14/02/2011 12:28
so what?!
Abu Mazen is not a legitimate leader since his period ran out long time ago.
Hamas as well

3 ) JOSJOS / Sweden
14/02/2011 12:55
I just want to know what is the significance of what they have did? an illegal government was resigned and a new illegal government is promised. so,I see no thing in such step. you PA leaders did nothing. the time will come one day and you will be thrown somewhere. just like Mubarak and Zain Al abedeen

4 ) Lukas / AntiZionists
14/02/2011 13:03
The PA is a disgrace to the Palestinian people. Fayyad is an illegitimate PM. Nobody elected him but the US under George W Bush. My despise for these liars knows no bounds.

5 ) Tony B? / ME
14/02/2011 15:57
Latest news I hear is that senior PA officials have applied for Jordanian passports. Looks to me like they are trying to avoid Hamas flying lessons.

Well, we should know the outcome of all this by August.
The only certainty is that if Hamas gets the vote, Pals can kiss goodbye to any hope of success with their continued land grab. Even Jerrold Cohen wouldn't be conned into believing they want anything less than a Jewish genocide.
Maybe the Mayans got 2012 right !

6 ) Omar / us/Palestine
14/02/2011 16:30
Palestine is a geographical identity Geographic borders of Palestine from the north to Lebanon and Syria the east Jordan and Syria on the south by Saudi Arabia and the Red Sea Egypt is bordered on the west by the Mediterranean SeaThe identity Palestine is Arab affiliation humanitarian configuration Spirit is bordered on all sides and planted in the heart of all secure that victory is coming Inevitably and governance for the people not to gangs Who tried to lose the dream freedom and liberation.

7 ) Omar / us/Palestine
14/02/2011 16:45
the Palestinian Authority and the PLO should leave the Palestinian political arena and apologize for their mistakes to the Palestinian, Arab and Islamic peoples. why cant we the people get to chose who to run us,how long has the pa and fatah been running the show?what have they done for us?nothing its time for fatah and hamas to step aside and let us chose who we want the Oslo authority in the green zone in in Ramallah failed to face the truth as is.the only thing fath been doing is dividing us

8 ) Tobias / US
14/02/2011 17:04
Unless the NEW GOVERNMENT breaks the unfortunate axiom of
Middle East diplomacy, "Palestinian leaders won’t take risks for peace",
this WILL CHANGE NOTHING !!!

THEY MUST tell their population (& refugees) that COMPROMISE is necessary to bring an end to the conflict and start the hard work of building a state. Instead, they feed their people a steady diet of anti- Zionist conspiracy theories, blame Israel for all their ills, and pump them full of hate for its allies – like America.


9 ) Omar / us/Palestine
14/02/2011 17:14
This authority is corrupt i must be completed It's an open game will not pass on the entire Palestinian people This has become great people like a volcano rising from the wrath of fire No one knows when its gonna explode This authority is corrupt from head the bat um It has become the most convincing staff of the Palestinian people that this authority and Abbas, on the top of it are injurious to him a lot and not only have concessions and Biie land on which to build Israel settlements on ourland

10 ) Tobias / US
14/02/2011 17:59
I agree (1-4),

- So unethical, as to steal from their impoverished people !!
- So illegitimate, as to stay in power, after losing an election !!
- And, such cowardice for the Palestinian cabinet to quit only now, so as to avoid being the target of the "Arab Street," and the unrest gripping the rest of the Arab world !!

However, the PLO derserves some consideration, since there are
no better examples of governments in the entire Arab world:
ALL autocratic kings and dictators !!!

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