Arafat said to support changes in Palestinian cabinet
Palestinian president Yasser Arafat is said to call on his prime minister, Ahmed Qurei, to make wide-ranging changes to his cabinet, a day after deputies of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) threatened to topple the government.
Former Communications Minister, Imad Falluji, on Thursday told reporters that Arafat wanted Qurei to continue in his post.
"President Arafat is maintaining his position and has asked Abu Ala (Qurei) to return back and make deep changes to the cabinet in order to strengthen it," Falluji, a member of the Palestinian parliament, was quoted as saying by the AFP.
"President Arafat wants from Abu Alaa to do whatever he needs to form a new cabinet and has full authority according to the Basic Law." Falluji elaborated on Thursday to Albawaba that Arafat was also willing to give Qurei the authority over security forces.
On Wednesday, deputies declared that they will topple Qurei's cabinet with a no-confidence motion should Arafat not accept Qurei's resignation and form a new government.
The PLC ratified a recommendation advising Arafat to accept Qurei's resignation and form a new cabinet so that attempts at ending the deteriorating state of internal security in the Gaza strip can be made.
Prominent PLC member, Hatem Abdul Kader, explained to Al Bawaba that the PLC’s recommendation is non-binding - but should President Arafat refuse to cooperate, a no-confidence motion will be the only alternative.
“If President Arafat was not cooperative, the PLC will use unconventional ways to force Arafat into accepting Qurei's resignation before a no-confidence motion is passed,” said Abdul Kader.
"The PLC is convinced that Qurei's cabinet has done all it can and has nothing new to offer. We cannot keep the Palestinian people in this awkward state…the resignation of the cabinet should be accepted immediately," the PLC member noted.
"We want a new and strong government with full legislative and executive powers according to a legal system that do not beg for authority from Arafat. What we want is a new administration that can end the deteriorating security situation," Abdul Kader explained.
Analysts believe that many of the PLC members who supported Qurei's cabinet will vote against him in the next session as, according to them, Qurei has not been able to use his full authority leaving Arafat in charge of all security matters which led to last week’s crisis.
"No one will succeed in leading a cabinet effectively if there are no powers given to the post…any newcomer will fail like the first two Premiers. I think if President Arafat does give any authority to the prime-ministerial post, it would be better to cancel the position altogether and have Arafat lead the cabinet as he used to do in the past," Abdul Kader concluded. (albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)