Gaza prime minister plans cabinet reshuffle: Hamas

AFP , Friday 24 Aug 2012

Hamas PM Ismail Haniya plans a cabinet reshuffle to be presented soon to the legislative council for a vote of confidence

Ismail Haniya
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya. (Photo: AP)

The Gaza Strip's Hamas government said on Friday that prime minister Ismail Haniya was planning cabinet reshuffle which he would ask parliament to endorse.

"The prime minister has ended consultation on a reshuffle, which is expected to be presented soon to the legislative council for a vote of confidence," Haniya's office said in a statement.

It did not say when the reshuffle would take place or which changes it would entail.

The rival West Bank-based government of president Mahmud Abbas underwent a shakeup in May, bringing in seven new ministers and drawing fierce criticism from Hamas, which said the reshuffle proved he was not committed to the formation of a national unity government.

In April 2011, Abbas's Fatah and Hamas announced a surprise reconciliation and agreed on the creation of an interim cabinet of independents selected by the two factions, which would prepare for elections to take place by May 2012.

But the deal has largely stalled, leaving presidential and legislative elections indefinitely postponed, although the Abbas administration has called for local authority elections in the West Bank in October.

The last time the Palestinians went to the polls was for parliamentary elections in 2006, which the Islamic movement Hamas won by a landslide.

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