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Abbas to head transitional Palestinian gov't, prepare for elections


09:35, February 07, 2012

DOHA, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will head the upcoming transitional government, according to an agreement signed in Qatar's capital Doha on Monday, Xinhua reported.

In the presence of Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al- Thani, Fatah chief Abbas and Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal signed the deal in Doha on Monday, to form a unified transitional government for the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The new Palestinian government is expected to be formed within the next few weeks, with Abbas as prime minister, pan-Arab TV channel al-Jazeera reported.

The upcoming transitional government will prepare for presidential and parliamentary elections, and oversee reconstruction work in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian factions, however, on Monday did not say when to hold these elections.

It is not immediately clear whether current Prime Minister Salam Fayyad would join the upcoming transitional government.

On late Sunday, an official from Abbas' Fatah party said that Palestinian rivals had preliminarily accepted a Qatari proposal that Abbas should lead the interim government to end the chronic split.

Hamas won parliamentary elections in 2006, but seized the Gaza Strip by force a year later and kept the Fatah-led Palestinian National Authority (PNA) confined to the West Bank.

In May 2011, Hamas and Fatah signed an Egypt-brokered reconciliation agreement in Egypt's capital Cairo, under which the two movements agreed to form a transitional government of technocrats. Later, the Palestinian factions agreed to hold elections in May 2012.

In December 2011, leaders of the Islamic Hamas movement and Fatah party agreed to honestly implement the Egypt-brokered reconciliation pact.


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