New Palestinian cabinet approved by legislators
The Palestinian parliament on Thursday approved a 24-member Cabinet dominated by professional appointees, including nearly half with doctoral degrees.
The 54-12 vote, with four abstentions, ended the crisis legislators and Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei.
On Wednesday, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas intervened in the dispute between parliament and his prime minister, and persuaded legislators from his Fatah Party to support a Cabinet largely consisting of ministers chosen for their expertise, not political loyalty.
The new cabinet is expected to serve until parliamentary elections are held in July.
Virtually all the new ministers are experts in the field they are to oversee, including 10 with doctorates, a medical doctor, a lawyer, several engineers and several with master's degrees.
The names were chosen in Wednesday's meeting between Abbas and Fatah legislators, said Abbas Zaki, a top Fatah official.
"It's a turning point in the rationale, the approach and the methodology of forming Cabinets, in going beyond political patronage ... and to look for people who can deliver," said legislator Hanan Ashrawi, according to The AP.
Among the key appointments are Nasser Yousef, an ex-general, as interior minister. Nasser Al-Kidwa, the former Palestinian observer to the United Nations and an Arafat nephew, was chosen as foreign minister.
Salam Fayyad, the finance minister for the last three years, will keep his job. Saeb Erekat will continue in his role as chief negotiator with Israel, but will lose his Cabinet position.
Following is the new Government as presented Thursday:
1. Dr. Nabil Shath, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Information.
2. Dr. Salam Fayyad, Minister of Finance.
3. M.G. Nasr Yousef, Minister of Interior and National Security.
4. Dr. Nasser Al-Kidwa, Minister of Foreign Affairs.
5. Mr. Ghassan AlKhatib, Minister of Planning.
6. Dr. Naeem Abu Alhumus Minister of Education and Higher Education.
7. Mr. Mohammed Dahlan Minister of Civil Affairs.
8. Dr. Hassan Abu Lebda, Minister of Labor and Social Affairs.
9. Mr. Yahya Yakhluf Minister of Culture.
10. Mrs. Zahiera Kamal Minister of Women's Affairs.
11. Dr. Mohammed Ishtayyeh, Minister of Public Works and Housing.
12. Sheikh Yousof Salama, Minister of Waqf and Religious Affairs.
13. Mr. Farid Al-Jallad, Minister of Justice.
14. Mr. Sakhr Bsaiso, Minister of Youth and Sport.
15. Mr. Sofian Abu Zaydeh, Minister of Prisoners Affairs.
16. Eng. Sa'd Al-Deen Kharma, Minister of Transportation.
17. Dr. Khaled Al-Qawasmi, Minister of Local Governance.
18. Dr. Thihni Al-Whaidi, Minister of Health.
19. Mr. Ziad Al-Bandak, Minister of Tourism.
20. Dr. Sabri Saidam, Minister of Telecommunication and IT.
21. Mr. Mazen Sonokrot, Minister of National Economy.
22. Dr. Walid Abed Rabbu, Minister of Agriculture.
23. Mrs. Hind Khori, State Minister.
24. Dr. Ahmed Majdalani, State Miniser.
25. Mr. Samir Hlaila, Secretary General of the Cabinet.