Fatah, Hamas agree on prime minister of reconciliation government

The Fatah and Hamas movements have reached an agreement on the candidacy of the reconciliation government’s prime minister, Egyptian Al Ahram daily reported on Tuesday.

The daily said that the acting head of the Palestinian investment fund, Muhammad Mustafa, is likely to become the prime minister.

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal plans to discuss with Fatah the details of Mustafa’s future tenure as well as to arrange a date of meeting with the Fatah chief and the head of the Palestine Autonomy, Mahmoud Abbas, the daily said.

Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation agreement on May 4 in Cairo, ending a four-year split that began when Hamas ousted Fatah forces from the Gaza Strip in 2007. Since then, Hamas has been controlling Gaza, while Fatah’s authority has been limited to the West Bank.

According to the agreement, the movements will form a technocratic government to unify national institutions in both Palestinian territories and prepare for presidential and parliamentary elections within a year.

The latest round of talks between Hamas and Fatah representatives was held in Cairo earlier this month. There however has been no consensus between the two movements on who should occupy the post of prime minster in a new government.

Fatah has endorsed Salam Fayyad, the current Palestinian Authority prime minister, to lead the interim government. Hamas has rejected his candidacy, suggesting that the new cabinet head should come from Gaza.

Despite obvious progress in relations between the Palestinian movements, analysts have pointed to the reluctance of Hamas and Fatah elites to share power as a major obstacle for reaching a genuine reconciliation.

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