Palestinian legislators reject Arafat key demand regarding powers of PM
Yasser Arafat suffered defeat in the Palestinian parliament Monday, with legislators rejecting his demand that a Cabinet formed by a future prime minister be "presented" to the Palestinian leader.
Palestinian legislators voted 49 to 22 against the amendment to the prime minister's bill, one of several proposed by the Palestinian leader. Several other changes deemed minor by parliament were approved.
The legislation will become law within two weeks, regardless of whether Arafat signs it or not.
Arafat needed a two-thirds majority in the 88-member parliament to get the amendments approved.
Parliament approved the new position last week, saying the prime minister has the authority to form and convene the Cabinet, and dismiss ministers. Arafat was left in command of security forces and with the final say on peace talks with Israel.
Palestinian Planning Minister Nabil Shaath said Monday that the change was "largely cosmetic" and that it did not grant Arafat a veto over Cabinet appointments. (Albawaba.com)
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