Current Palestinian Authority Prime Minister, Sallem Fayyed, has said that he will not stand in the way of national reconciliation but declined to say that he would step down from the position of PM in the new interim government in order to achieve consensus between Fatah and Hamas.Salem Fayyed, speaking in Ramallah on Tuesday, said that he ‘can’t and won’t be an obstacle to Palestinian reconciliation’, adding that ‘the decision to appoint the new prime minister should be a coordinated decision’. However Fayyed did not go as far as to say he would forgo the position of PM to bring about agreement on a new unity government.
Fatah and Hamas are divided on who will take the position of PM in the interim government agreed under a unity deal between the two rival political factions. Hamas does not want Fayyed, who they claim colluded with Israel in imposing the siege on Gaza, to take the post. Fatah, however, believe Fayyed’s role in state building and securing international aid is essential for any Palestinian government.
Speaking to the Lebanese Broadcasting Company PA President Mahmoud Abbas said that he had the right to appoint whomever he wished as the PM of the new government, a statement Hamas condemned as an “unnecessary escalation of the war of words”.
Fayyed said he was “flattered by President Abbas and the PLO Executive Committee’s position regarding my nomination for the prime ministerial post. It doesn’t only make me happy as a person, it is also a certificate that our policy is appreciated’.
The announcement of the unity government had been due to go ahead on Tuesday however it has been postponed due to a failure to agree on an interim PM. It is now nearly two months since the deal was announced however agreement does not seem likely in the near future.