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Friday, March 04, 2011

Fatah leaders demand that Fayyad get fired

From Reuters:
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' dominant Fatah political faction has demanded that he sack Western-backed Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, according to a letter shown to Reuters on Thursday.

The letter, signed by senior Fatah officials, was sent to Abbas on Saturday, but the president "did not take it seriously," a Fatah official told Reuters.

However, the request underlined deep political friction at the heart of the Palestinian Authority, with many Fatah activists clearly frustrated by Fayyad, who has no significant political base of his own but wields substantial power.

Fayyad, a former World Bank economist, is widely credited by Western governments with transforming the institutional landscape in the West Bank, successfully building the core structures needed for a planned independent Palestinian state.

As prime minister he controls finances and security, leaving many Fatah members to complain bitterly in private that his high-profile activities are overshadowing their own work.

"We suggest you reconsider re-appointing Dr. Fayyad and (instead) ask that a strong Fatah figure do the job," said the letter, backed by Fatah's central revolutionary council.
Hmmm. The president, who is ruling past his legal term limits by invoking emergency powers, can ignore the demands of his people. He ensures that unpopular, unelected officials who are politically valuable can keep their jobs. This president is considered moderate because he supposedly adheres to Western interests and brutally puts down the people who oppose him, but if he would let his people do what they want he would very possibly be replaced with a radical who would be anti-Western and/or Islamist. The West supports him to the hilt even though he is responsible for major human rights abuses and has shown no flexibility in deepening the peace treaty with Israel.

But enough about Mubarak.