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PA Cabinet Resigning, Fayyad to Appoint New Ministers

Abbas feels Egyptian domino effect: PA chairman orders shake-up of cabinet long demanded by Fayyad.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 2/14/2011, 11:17 AM / Last Update: 2/14/2011, 11:47 AM

The Palestinian Authority's cabinet ministers will tender their resignations Monday and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad will select new ministers in their stead. The shake-up is being carried out at the request of PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, political sources told international news agencies.

The shake-up was "long demanded by Fayyad and by some in Abbas's Fatah faction," according to Reuters. It is perceived as part of a domino effect in the Arab world, following the Tunisian and Egyptian rebellions. A similar move has been announced in Jordan, as well.
 
"There will be massive change in the composition of the government," one political source said of the planned resignations in the PA. Another source said some of the ministers who resign will keep their portfolios in the new government. Fayyad himself, who is also submitting his resignation, would be asked to stay on in the post he has occupied for four years, Abbas has said.
 
In an interview with The Washington Post on Sunday, Fayyad said he was confident that Egypt would continue to support the PA. "Why would I presume that Egypt in the aftermath of this movement is going to be any less supportive?" he asked. "Egyptian people are very supportive of the Palestinian people."
 
The PA said it plans to hold elections July 9, but the move is being opposed by Hamas. "The executive committee has decided to start preparations for presidential and parliamentary elections in the coming months... no later than September," the PLO's Yasser Abed Rabbo said Saturday.
 
In response, Hamas called the planned polls "invalid" because "Abbas has no legitimacy and is not fit to organize such elections."