Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Good News from Gaza

Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia does not intend to present a new cabinet for parliamentary approval on Wednesday or Thursday, sources close to Qureia said on Wednesday.

In such a case, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas may decide as early as Thursday to entrust the task of forming a new government on a new candidate for the premier post.

"There is an internal plot in the [Palestinian ruling party] Fatah to hamper any cabinet presented he will present, and therefore he does not intend to do so," the sources close to Qureia said.

Although this may add to instability, the net effect of replacing Abu Alla with a non "old guard" member is likely to be a move in the right direction. The new government of Abu Mazen is future focused with some good technocrats on board (and the wild & powerful Dahlan). Remember, Arafat chose Abu Alla as his candidate of choice when he overthrew Abu Mazen (hence the name of an Abu Alla support base: "the Loyal Sons of Yassar Arafat"). If you are after a candidate who wants progression, here's a tip: don't back the guy Arafat backed.

Palestinian legislature continues to withhold confirmation from PM Qureia’s cabinet even after he scrapped first lineup and promised professionals, except for two ministers, instead of corruption-tainted veterans.

Main opposition comes from Qureia-Abbas’ own Fatah majority. DEBKAfile reports PA Chairman Abbas is manipulating Fatah to sustain crisis and humiliate Qureia until he quits. PM expected to resign if no majority Thursday.

See also debka's report about Dahlan's assassins - "Dahlan’s Death Squads Bring a Bit of Iraq to Gaza Strip". I still think overall this guy is a good influence in Gaza - despite his shortcomings - which doesn't say much about the Gaza leadership slate.

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