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Abbas appoints interim prime minister

Abbas appoints interim prime minister
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Salam Fayyad, an independent deputy, has been appointed Prime Minister of an emergency Palestinian government by President Mahmoud Abbas. Formerly Finance Minister under Ismail Haniyeh’s unity government, Fayyad is viewed as a moderate who has good relations with Western leaders.

Hamas has rejected the appointment, just as it has dismissed the dissolution of the government. Abbas, who is ruling by decree, has said he hopes to hold a new election as soon as the situation on the ground allows it “The ultimate goal should be to have some kind of preparation and go for democratic, new elections. People have to decide in the ballot boxes how things should be. Nobody should accept that things should be decided by force,” said Palestinian Information Minister Mustafa Barghouti.

Hamas has urged Fayyad to turn down the post, and not “pose himself as a party to the problem”. Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum: “We in Hamas consider the emergency government which was delegated by Mahmoud Abbas to Dr Salam Fayyad is not a legitimate government.” (sic) It is thought Fayyad’s appointment could hasten plans by Israel and the EU to ease sanctions in the West Bank to try to bolster the new government.

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