Friday, May 15, 2009

Facelift delayed

Abbas's manoeuvres to stave off political death are impressing few.

By Khaled Amayreh in Ramallah
Al-Ahram Weekly

"Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas has deferred discussion for the formation of a new government until Abbas returns from a tour that will take him to Jordan, Syria and Russia. These plans have been delayed due to undisclosed differences with his Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

Earlier in the week, Abbas announced that a new government, to be headed by Fayyad, would be formed "in the next few hours". Reliable Palestinian sources told Al-Ahram Weekly that Abbas and Fayyad were at odds over the choice of proposed cabinet ministers.......

President Abbas is facing serious opposition within Fatah over failed peace talks with Israel. Fatah leaders at home and abroad have lambasted Abbas for trying to impose his supporters on the long overdue sixth Fatah congress. The convening of the congress has been postponed numerous times due to the absence of unity within the top Fatah hierarchy.

This week, Abbas abruptly dissolved the Preparation Committee in Amman after the latter refused to endorse a list of candidates submitted by Abbas but viewed by the "Arafatists" (followers of the late PA leader Yasser Arafat) as "compromisers and collaborators with Israel".

The dissolution by Abbas of the Preparatory Committee is already deepening the rift between the Palestinian leader's camp (often referred to as the Abbas-Dahlan camp) and veteran Fatah figures such as Farouk Qadoumi, Ahmed Qurei and Nasr Youssef......"

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