Monday, 13 June 2011

Fatah Wants Fayyad to Stay Palestinian PM… Hamas Rejects

The central committee of Fatah, headed by president Mahmud Abbas, agreed at a Saturday night meeting to seek to keep on Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to head the Palestinian unity government, in a nomination immediately rejected by Hamas.

A committee member told AFP on condition of anonymity that the central committee has taken the decision to nominate Fayyad to head the Palestinian government during a meeting at the presidential headquarters.
However, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri downplayed the nomination, warning that his movement had made its opposition clear. "Hamas informed Fatah during the last meeting of its rejection of the choice of Salam Fayyad to head the new government," Zuhri told AFP. "The Fatah central committee's nomination of Salam Fayyad to head the government is a Fatah nomination and any head of the new government must be chosen by consensus and not, of course, by one of the parties."
In a statement released by Hamas, senior official Salah Bardawil reiterated that position. "It is certain that we will not accept Fayyad either as the head of the government or as a minister in that government because of the four years of siege, arrests and torture of Hamas leaders and members linked to the name of Salam Fayyad," he said. "Reconciliation for us in Hamas is a strategic goal we will seek to achieve by all means possible, but there are red lines that we cannot agree to cross."
On Saturday night, after the central committee meeting, Fatah representative Azzam al-Ahmed, who helped broker the unity deal, said the next round of talks should yield a final government line-up. The central committee "decided to continue communications with Hamas and the other factions in order to form the Palestinian government as soon as possible."
"The two sides will meet this Tuesday to form a government, and we hope that this will be the last round (of talks) needed to finish the make-up of the government," he told AFP.

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