ISSN 2330-717X

Palestinian Government to Resign Monday: Officials

By

Palestinian sources say Prime Minister Salam Fayyad will submit his government’s resignation Monday and immediately begin discussions with various political factions to form a new cabinet.

The officials, speaking to news agencies on condition of anonymity, said the shake-up will come at the request of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Mr. Fayyad and some in Mr. Abbas’s Fatah faction have long sought a cabinet reshuffle. This follows the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to a popular revolt that has set off reform calls throughout the Arab world.

On Saturday, the Palestinian Authority announced plans to hold long-overdue presidential and legislative elections by September. That decision came after a meeting in Ramallah of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which oversees the Authority. Mr. Abbas is both Palestinian president and PLO chairman.

An aide to Mr. Abbas said the Palestinian leadership is calling on all parties to “set aside differences” and focus on the upcoming elections.

Hamas leaders, who rule Gaza, rejected the call for a new poll. Spokesman Fawzi Barhum said the Islamist group will not participate because the elections are not legitimate. Hamas has previously said that there could be no voting until the two governments are reconciled.

President Abbas’ four-year term expired in 2009 but has been extended indefinitely.

The Palestinians have not held elections since 2006, when Hamas won a majority in parliament. That led to more than a year of uneasy power sharing and a brief civil war in June 2007. Since then, Hamas has governed Gaza and the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority has controlled the West Bank.

At the Palestinian Authority meeting Saturday, the chief Palestinian negotiator in peace talks with Israel, Saeb Erekat, tendered his resignation as a result of information leaked in documents last month.

In late January, Erekat accused the Qatar-based Al Jazeera television network of endangering his life by leaking documents saying he offered far-reaching concessions during peace talks with Israel. The network said the documents showed the Palestinian government got little in return for the huge compromises it was apparently willing to make.

Mr. Erekat has been a part of the Palestinian negotiating team for nearly two decades.

VOA

VOA

The VOA is the Voice of America

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.