Qureia says he wants 'less radical' cabinet

The embattled Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia sought to defuse a political crisis yesterday by planning a radically altered list of mainly 'technocratic' Cabinet ministers to replace a previous one angrily rejected by parliamentarians.

The embattled Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia sought to defuse a political crisis yesterday by planning a radically altered list of mainly 'technocratic' Cabinet ministers to replace a previous one angrily rejected by parliamentarians.

Mr Queria is expected to seek approval this morning for a new Cabinet less dominated by Fatah figures, some though not all of them closely associated with Yasser Arafat, when the Palestinian Legislative Council reconvenes in Ramallah.

In a move which some Palestinian politicians interpreted as a welcome upsurge of democratic independence, members of the PLC on Monday queued up to denounce his earlier choice on the grounds that it made only 'cosmetic' changes to his Cabinet.

A vote to approve the Cabinet was put off for the second time to allow the Prime Minister to produce a new list today. While Mahmoud Abbas, who reappointed Mr Qureia as Prime Minister when he was elected President, has stood publicly aloof from the row, at least one of the President's allies emphasized that the original list had been that of Mr Qureia and not Mr Abbas.

But last night the exact make-up of the new list was far from clear. Mr Qureia reportedly told a closed session of the PLC that he now planned to appoint a Cabinet largely made up of experts and 'professionals' who, unlike a majority of the present Cabinet, were not members of the PLC.

Saeb Erekat, a long standing Cabinet minister, told reporters after the meeting that Mr Qureia now planned to seek the Council's approval for a Cabinet in which only two members of the PLC would be included. But neither Mr Erekat nor other senior PA officials would confirm speculation that Mr Erekat and another long time Fatah figure, Nabil Shaath, the Foreign Minister, whom Mr Qureia planned to switch to the role of Deputy Prime Minister, would be the two PLC members retaining their places on the list.

If such a formula were adopted were taken it would leave in place the Finance Minister Salam Fayyad, who is not a PLC member and commands wide respect both at home and abroad as highly competent professional - and is seen by some legislators as the model of the sort of technocratic performer Mr Qureia claimed to the PLC yesterday he wanted to appoint.

But it would also mean dropping - among others - from the list Nabil Amr, a PLC member who had been slated as the new Minister of Information and who is a close ally of Mr Abbas. Mr Amr, an open critic of Yasser Arafat before his death, resigned from the same post when Mr Abbas stood down as Prime Minister in 2003 and lost a leg after being shot by a mystery gunman at his home last year.

Mr Erekat complained yesterday that the Palestinians had been accused of being 'chaotic' when in fact the events of the last 48 hours represented the 0Ûÿgrowth of Palestinian democracy' and would have been accepted as a healthy democratic process in Europe or the US.

After Monday's often heated PLC meeting, Abdel Jawwad Saleh, a prominent independent member of the PLC who was among the leading protesters yesterday, later complained that too many of the proposed Cabinet did 'not stand seriously against corruption.'

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
video
News
Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
people
Voices
The popularity of TV shows such as The Liver Birds encouraged Liverpudlians to exaggerate their Scouse accent
voicesWe exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Parker says: 'I once had a taster use the phrase 'smells like the sex glands of a lemming'. Who in the world can relate to that?'
food + drinkRobert Parker's 100-point scale is a benchmark of achievement for wine-makers everywhere
News
i100
  • Get to the point
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing