Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei will today present his updated cabinet list, following pressure from MPs who opposed his original line-up. At a highly charged parliament session, MPs had threatened a vote of no-confidence if Qurei failed to bring in new faces. Critics had called on Qurei to move away from the corruption-tainted image of former leader Yasser Arafat’s era.
Saeb Erekat, chief Palestinian negotiator, is expected to remain in his team. “The task of this cabinet will be to see to it that this government will be in charge of preparing for the elections, continuation of the reforms, and the Palestinian elections will be held next July,” he said.
His backdown now means Arafat’s successor – Mahmoud Abbas – can move ahead with a promised overhaul of the Palestinian Authority, something which legislators say will be helped by the inclusion of technocrats and reformists. It is also hoped that the new and improved list will help to focus on ending the conflict with Israel.