Just hours after it was being reported Hamas had won the vote, Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei announced he was stepping down:
“I think Hamas should form a new government,” he said. “The president should ask them to form a new government. For me personally, I have sent my resignation to the president to enable him to choose a new prime minister.”
Hamas’s victory comes as a blow for Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, although it does not mean he will have to leave. He has said, however, he might resign if unable to pursue a peace policy and has made clear Fatah will not join any coalition with the militant group.