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Thursday, June 20, 2013

That was quick: 'Palestinian Prime Minister' Rami Hamdallah resigns

Less than a month after he was appointed, 'Palestinian Prime Minister' Rami Hamdallah has submitted his resignation. 'Moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen has not yet decided whether to accept the resignation. The reason for the resignation is apparently that Abu Mazen wants him to be a yes-man.
A source close to Hamdallah said that he submitted his letter of resignation to Hussein al-A'raj, director of the PA president's bureau.
The source attributed the resignation to a power struggle between Hamdallah and his two deputies - Mohamed Mustafa and Ziad Abu Amr - who were appointed by Abbas.
"The prime minister feels that his deputies have been encroaching on his powers," the source said.
After submitting his resignation, Hamdallah left his office in Ramallah alone and drove in his private car to his home in the village of Anabta in the northern West Bank.
A senior PA official told the Bethlehem-based Ma'an news agency that Hamdallah had not clashed with Abbas. The official said that the real dispute was between Hamdallah and his two deputies.
On Thursday evening, senior PA officials headed from Ramallah to Hamdallah's home to persuade him to withdraw his resignation.
Another source said that Hamdallah, who was appointed by Abbas on June 2, quickly found himself in the same situation as his predecessor, Salam Fayyad.
"Hamdallah discovered that the Palestinian Authority president wants him to serve as a yes man with no powers," the source explained. "Abbas wanted a prime minister who would play no role and only carry out orders from the president's office."
Abbas's decision to appoint two deputy prime ministers with expanded powers to the new government was the first sign of the PA president's intention to curtail the powers of Hamdallah.
Some Palestinians pointed out that the real prime minister was Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs, Mohamed Mustafa, who also serves as the director of the PLO's Palestine Investment Fund.
Mustafa was initially reported to be Abbas's favored candidate to replace Fayyad. It remains unclear, however, why Abbas finally preferred Hamdallah over Mustafa.
"Hamdallah quit because he was lacking any authorities," said Palestinian political analyst Hani al-Masri. "He discovered that he was just another employee with the rank of prime minister. He had two deputies who were in charge of the political and economic portfolios."
You don't think Abu Mazen is insecure or something, do you?

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