Abbas swears in new Fayyad-led PA cabinet (JERUSALEM POST) By KHALED ABU TOAMEH 05/17/12)
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A new Palestinian Authority cabinet headed by Salam Fayyad was sworn
in before President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday, ending any chances of
forming a Fatah- Hamas unity government.
Last week, Abbas entrusted Fayyad with forming a new cabinet until
circumstances allow the formation of a coalition with Hamas, as
agreed in the Doha Accord that Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal
signed last February.
The two sides failed to implement the Doha Accord, mainly due to
strong opposition inside Hamas.
The Finance portfolio, which Fayyad had held since 2007, will now be
in the hands of Nabil Qassis, a former president of Bir Zeit
University near Ramallah.
The new cabinet consists of representatives of Fatah, the Democratic
Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Palestinian Democratic
Union, as well as independent figures.
It includes six female ministers – the largest number of women to
serve in a PA cabinet.
The women are: Safa Nasser Eddin, communications minister; Rabiha
Diab, women’s affairs minister; Siham Barghouti, culture minister;
Majeda al-Masri, social welfare minister; Rula Ma’ya’a, tourism
minister; and Lamis al-Alami, education minister.
Adnan Husseini, the former director of the Wakf Muslim religious
trust in Jerusalem, was named as Jerusalem affairs minister.
Ali Muhana, former head of the Bar Association in the West Bank, was
appointed justice minister. Hani Abdeen replaced Fathi Abu Mughli as
Bassam Zakarneh, head of the Palestinian union of public employees,
strongly criticized the new cabinet, calling it “ugly.”
“Adding flowers to the body of an ugly woman won’t change her
ugliness,” Zakarneh said.
He said that the union was planning a one-hour strike on Thursday to
protest against the new government and its policies, especially in
the economic arena.
Hamas said the new cabinet would solidify divisions among the
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said the Fayyad government had never
been the choice of the Palestinians, especially in light of the fact
that it was not approved by the Palestinian Legislative Council.
Barhoum accused Abbas of bypassing the Doha Accord with Hamas by
forming a new cabinet without the Islamist movement. (© 1995-2011,
The Jerusalem Post 05/17/12)
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