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Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Hamas Government in Two Weeks

From Khalid Amayreh in Al-Khalil

Al-Khalil, Feb. 14, IRNA--Hamas, which won a landslide victory in the 2- January legislative elections in the Occupied Palestinian territories, has vowed to form a “strong and durable” government within two weeks.

The new government will succeed the Palestinian Authority (PA) care-take government of Ahmed Qurei.

Hamas said efforts to form the government would be accelerated after the convening of the new legislative council on 18 February. Hamas will be in control of 74 seats plus three or four other seats won by pro-Islamic independents. Fatah, the former PA ruling party, will have 45 seats while the remaining 8 seats will be held by two independents and three liberal and leftist parties.

However, irrespective of formalities, Hamas has actually been secretly making intensive consultations in an effort to secure the formation of the government before the end of February.

Hamas sources told IRNA that the next government would include members of Hamas, pro-Hamas independents, technocrats and several figures from Fatah or close to Fatah.

Hamas leaders explained that a “national coalition government” would be the most expedient choice, given the regional and international political circumstances.

“The next government will not be a religious government and the ministers will not be clergymen,” said one Hamas lawmaker in the Hebron region.

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