'Fayyad ruled out as Palestinian unity gov't PM'

PA prime minister removed from short list of candidates to lead Hamas-Fatah gov't, 'Al-Ahram' quotes sources as saying.

May 19, 2011 16:40
1 minute read.
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman)

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has been ruled out as a candidate for the premiership of the forthcoming transitional Palestinian unity government, Egyptian daily Al-Ahram's website reported on Wednesday.

Both Fatah and Hamas had initially put forth four names each as possible candidates to lead the new government but the list was subsequently reduced and Fatah is no longer suggesting Fayyad for the position, according to the report.

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Al-Ahram quoted sources as saying their are now two candidates for the job, who are acceptable to both Fatah and Hamas. The candidates were described as being able to win international approval despite limited experience with Palestinian government. They are both technocrats who have worked with international institutions.

The sources added that Fayyad would most likely be recommended for the position of Finance Minister in the new government, but it is believed that he will decline the position. The opposition to Fayyad came from within Fatah, according to the report.

Some Fatah representatives have hinted that businessman Mamoun Abu Shahla from the Gaza Strip was a leading candidate to be prime minister.

Azzam al-Ahmed, head of the Fatah delegation to the talks with Hamas, said on Wednesday that the new government would be established within a month.

He said Fatah and Hamas have presented the names of 70 candidates to serve as ministers.

Ahmed was quoted by the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency as saying that the new government would be completely independent.

Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report

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