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Fayyad loses bid for head of Palestinian unity government

With Fayyad out of the premiership race, Fatah has put forth ex-foreign minister Ziyad Abu Amr, a figure strictly refused by Hamas

Saleh Naami , Wednesday 18 May 2011
File picture shows Palestinian Prime Minister Fayyad speaking during news conference in Ramallah, (Reuters).


Ahram Online has discovered through informed sources that Salam Fayyad, the head of the Palestinian government in Ramallah, is no longer being put forward as a candidate for the premiership in the forthcoming transitional government. Informed sources affirmed that Fayyad was in fact among the four names Fatah suggested for the post, while Hamas had also put forth four suggestions. Soon afterwards, however, the number of candidates shrank at both ends as Fatah no longer recommended Fayyad for the position.

The sources added that the Fatah and Hamas delegations had agreed upon two names both of which are deemed acceptable by both parties. The sources declined to name the candidates but explained that while the personalities have had limited experience with Palestine on the ground they would both garner international approval.

The candidates are both technocrats who have excelled in their work with with international institutions or organisations, the sources said, adding that the recommendation of Fayyad for the position of finance minister is likely, yet all indicators point to the veteran politician declining the offer.

The sources believe that Fayyad met with intense opposition from circles in the Fatah leadership which accused him of working to weaken it by striking alliances with certain figures in the movement, while undermining others. The sources stressed that Fayyad is himself aware of the extent of his opposition and rejection to his candidacy in Fatah.

In the same context, it became clear that among the candidates Fatah put forth to assume the premiership was ex-foreign minister Ziyad Abu Amr, a figure vehemently opposed by Hamas.

Abu Amr was elected for the legislative council in 2006 due to Hamas’ support. Yet, the relationship between him and the movement deteriorated after Hamas accused him of inciting the international community against them after the signing of the Mecca Agreement in February 2007.

On another note, the sources stated that Hamas and Fatah have agreed on an initial solution to the problem of political incarceration in the West Bank and Gaza.

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