Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, will present a speech on Saturday and is expected to keep the Hamas-run government in power for a short period before calling a referendum in March 2007, the Maan News Agency reported.


The agency said that Abbas is also expected to announce that presidential and legislative elections will be held two months after holding the referendum.

According to Maan, Abbas will personally manage the coverage of expenses of payments for 160.000 public sector employees, including security services employees.

The payment will be through the PLO-affiliated Palestinian National Investment Fund, Maan added.

Moreover, Abbas is expected to announce several decisions regarding the reactivation of institutions of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) after receiving guarantees that the PLO will be accredited as the sole representative of the Palestinian people.

Several Arab and European countries promised Abbas to transfer money to the Palestinian Investment Fund in order to enable the authority pay the salaries of public sector employees.

Maan added that Abbas will present his speech on Saturday December 16 at 10:00am. The speech is expected to be held at the Presidential Headquarters in Ramallah, and some 200 Palestinian figures are expected to attend it.