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Home >> World
UPDATED: 08:23, August 21, 2006
Hamas forms team to discuss forming coalition government: official
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The ruling Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) has formed a team to negotiate with other factions on forming a coalition government, a Hamas lawmaker said on Sunday.

Yahia Mussa, a legislator in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), condemned officials from President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement for their reactions to Prime Minister Ismail Haneya 's remarks.

After Abbas and Haneya Thursday agreed on opening talks over the coalition cabinet, Haneya outlined three major conditions ahead of forming a coalition government, namely the release of Hamas ministers and lawmakers by Israel, lifting the siege against the Hamas-led government and commissioning major portfolios of the coalition government to Hamas including the prime minister post.

Mussa noted that Haneya's conditions, rejected by Fatah officials, were put forward for the international community and Israel, not Abbas and Fatah movement.

Meanwhile, a senior Fatah lawmaker Nabil Shaath said that talks between the factions over a coalition government were in their early beginnings.

Shaath, also a member of Fatah's Central Committee, said the national-unity government was a way to counter the behavior of "the Israeli enemy."

"We don't want a government formed by Israel or under an Israeli order. We speak about a national unity government to counter Israel and challenge the Israeli siege," Shaath told reporters.

The official continued that the political program of the coming government was to work on overcoming the siege because it was a siege against the Palestinian people, and it wasn't only against Hamas.

Also on Sunday, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) urged a rapid formation of a coalition government to be able to respond to the current Palestinian situation.

"The present situation requires speeding up the formation of a coalition government, otherwise, burdens will increase," Kayed al- Ghoul of the PFLP told reporters in Gaza.

Hamas, which overwhelmingly won the January legislative elections, failed to form a national coalition government and had alone formed a government in late March.

Source: Xinhua

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