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Hamdallah asked to form new govt

03 June 2013, 08:35

Ramallah - Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Sunday called on Rami Hamdallah to form a new government and the university chief said he accepted the task as the term of Salam Fayyad formally ended.

Hamdallah was the president of the Al-Najah University in the West Bank city of Nablus.

The move came on the last day of a deadline to find a successor to Fayyad, who quit on 13 April after weeks of tensions due to long-standing differences with Abbas over the finance portfolio.

"The government will be formed in the coming days," said Hamdallah, who also headed the central election commission and the Palestinian stock exchange.

"Most ministers of the outgoing government will stay and I will bring in a new finance minister," he added.

Abbas announced on 27 April that consultations had started to form a unity government under his own leadership, in accordance with a long-delayed reconciliation deal between his Fatah faction and the rival Islamist movement Hamas.

Palestinian basic law stipulates that the person charged with forming a new government then has three weeks to choose a new line-up, which can be extended by another two if the issue is not resolved within that timeframe.

Outgoing labour minister Ahmad al-Majdalani said it would likely mean a regular cabinet would have to be formed until the two factions managed to piece together the planned unity government.

Fatah and Hamas agreed last month to set a three-month timetable for forming a unity government.

Establishing a unity government and holding elections was one of the aims of a reconciliation deal the two nationalist movements signed two years ago, but it has never been implemented.



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