In a bid to relieve some of the international pressure on the party, Hamas may consider forming a government of technocrats with no connection to the radical Islamic movement, stated Ghazi Hamad, a senior Hamas official, on Friday.

"We want a government that is for the Palestinian people, and if we can’t do that then there are many options, one of which is a government of technocrats." Hamad said

Already, the newly-empowered Hamas has made steps in that direction, asking former Finance Minister Dr. Salam Fayyad to be the next Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority (Fayyad has yet to accept the offer). The request followed the resignation of Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei upon news of Hamas’ victory.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced on Friday that he would ask Hamas to form a government following the Hamas party’s election victory. "We haven’t directly asked anyone to form a government yet," Abbas said. "But we’ve negotiated with some of the factions and, of course, we will ask the party that has received the most votes to form the government."

The Fateh defeat in Wednesday’s legislative elections was seen as a rebuke to veteran Fateh party leaders, seen as corrupt by many in the Palestinian electorate. Those leaders have resisted repeated calls for party reform by the Fateh young guard. During rallies on Friday and Saturday, Fateh activists demanded the resignation of Fateh’s top leaders, although they did not mention Abbas by name.