Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Hey, Abbas and Fayyad Are Forming A New Coalition Too!

Not only are Abbas and Fayyad forming a new cabinet--their restructuring actually predates the announcement of the new coalition Netanyahu has formed with Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz.

No doubt the efforts of Abbas and Fayyad were Netanyahu's inspiration.

After all, already on May 1, Khaled Abu Toameh reported Abbas, Fayyad agree to form new cabinet:

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad have reached an agreement on the formation of a new Palestinian cabinet, Palestinian sources said Tuesday.

The agreement was reached during a three-hour meeting between the two men, the sources said.

According to the sources, the agreement was made possible after Abbas abandoned his demand for a cabinet reshuffle and accepted Fayyad’s request to form a new cabinet.

The new cabinet will be headed by Fayyad and will consist of 20 ministers, the London-based Al-Quds Al- Arabi reported Tuesday.

The new cabinet will be sworn in before Abbas, the newspaper said.
Actually, the reference to the new cabinet being sworn in before Abbas is a chronological as well as a geographic reference--since Abbas has not actually been President for over 3 years, ever since Abbas's term as president of "Palestine" ended on January 15, 2009. As an added bonus, since Abbas was not president after January 15, 2009--he had no authority to appoint Fayyad later on May 19, 2009, an appointment that in any case was never confirmed by the Palestinian Legislative Council, as required by the Article 65 of the Basic Law.

Other than that, I suppose there might be parallels.

Another point that should be made: Fayyad will no longer serve as Finance Minister. Instead, he will only serve as Prime Minister--while Nabil Qassis, the former president of Bir Zeit University, will replace Fayyad as finance minister. It was Fayyad being Finance Minister that relieved the conscience of t he West and allowed it to continue to pour money into the corrupt and incompetent government.

On the other hand, Qassis is the founder of the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute, so he apparently has qualifications for the job, but it will obviously not be easy.

Fayyad has pointed out that the Palestinian Authority is again desperately short of funds:
The Palestinians had planned for foreign aid of about $1.1 billion in 2011, but received just under $750 million and are lagging again in donations this year. No reason has been given for the failure of some Arab allies to honor their pledges.

Despite the many challenges facing the Palestinians and the lengthy breakdown in peace negotiations, Fayyad said he was convinced that independence would be achieved within 10 years. [Hat tip: IMRA]
Over all, I imagine it is safe to say that Netanyahu's coalition will get more things accomplished than the Abbas cabinet.

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