Qurei to present new Palestinian cabinet list; vote expected Wednesday
Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei on Tuesday promised to present a Cabinet of technocrats to parliament, after his original lineup of political old-timers prompted an angry outcry and threats of a no-confidence vote.
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, whose relations with Qurei have grown increasingly cool in recent weeks, appeared to be largely untouched by the political turmoil. Abbas could simply appoint a new prime minister if Qurei fails to win approval for his Cabinet.
The political crisis in the Palestinian government began Monday when Qurei presented a 24-member Cabinet to parliament - with only four new faces in the team. In a stormy parliament session, 23 of 27 speakers said they would not support the selection and demanded the ouster of several "corruption-tainted" ministers. The vote was delayed until Tuesday.
In the meantime, Abbas and Qurei summoned legislators from their Fatah movement to ask for support. Fatah controls two-thirds of the seats in the 85-member parliament.
Addressing parliament Tuesday morning, Qurei said he would present the new team later in the day. He told the lawmakers, "We have agreed that the new Cabinet should ... consist of technocrats." Parliament decided to hold the vote Wednesday.