Former finance minister's Third Way Party won't join coalition.
By RAFAEL D. FRANKELPublished: JANUARY 29, 2006 19:36Advertisement
The Third Way Party led by former Palestinian Authority Finance Minister Salam Fayyad will not join a coalition government led by Hamas, a top party official told The Jerusalem Post Sunday, putting an end to the speculation that Fayyad could become the next Palestinian prime minister.
It was previously thought that the popular Fayyad, who, like Hamas, ran on an anti-corruption platform, could serve as premier in order to provide experience and a moderate face for the new Palestinian government.
However, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, No. 2 on the party list, said that the similarities between the Third Way and Hamas ended with a desire to end corruption in the PA, and that her party could not join a government led by Hamas.
"You can't enter a coalition with people you don't have a minimum degree of agreement with," Ashrawi said. "Even though we believe in a national unity government, there is just too much of a difference in our platforms for us to join them."
The Third Way is opposed to instituting Islamic Law and does not support violent resistance to Israel, as does Hamas. Its platform also called for the amalgamation of all PA security forces while Hamas has so far refused calls for it to disarm or merge its terror arm, the Izzadin Al-Kassam Brigades, with PA forces.
Ashrawi and Fayyad, the only two people who will represent the Third Way Party in the next Palestinian Legislative Council, will instead join with Fatah in opposition to the government, Ashrawi said.
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