Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayad said over the weekend that he does not intend to remain in political office after the establishment of a new Palestinian government.
Fayad's remarks put an end to speculation that he was planning to run in the next presidential election in the PA. They also constitute a blow to the US and all those who were hoping that he would continue to play a major role in the PA in the future.
He renewed his call for the formation of a transitional government that would run the affairs of the Palestinians until new elections are held. He said the transitional government would not include members of Hamas or Fatah. Fayad, from the Third Way Party, made it clear that he does not see himself heading such a government. He said that his current job was the last he would hold in the PA. "This is the last official job I carry out in the Palestinian Authority," he said. "When we talk about the need to establish a new national government, we mean one that would be headed by a new prime minister and new cabinet ministers."
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said that the Palestinians would not regret Fayad's exit from the scene. "The departure of Fayad and his government would end an era of dictatorship," he said. "Fayad and his government were part of a dangerous Israeli-American scheme aimed at protecting Israel's security."
I suspect any new governing authority will operate much the same as the old one. Still, I cannot say it makes me nostalgic for Arafat. In other news, the Palestinian Authority has turned down another proposal for a Palestinian state.