Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Arafat's Cabinet Quits

On Wednesday, Arafat's cabinet was forced to resign. It seems that they could not pass muster in the palestinian legislature.
Just moments before lawmakers were to hold the vote Wednesday afternoon, cabinet ministers submitted their resignations to Arafat. The Palestinian leader accepted the resignation, making a vote unnecessary. A majority of legislators speaking Wednesday said they would not approve the cabinet.

Arafat has to present a new cabinet within two weeks, said Parliament Speaker Ahmed Qureia.

There has been widespread dissatisfaction with the cabinet, with many ministers considered either corrupt or incompetent.

Arafat responded to the criticism in June when he added five new ministers, widely considered hard-working and honest, as part of what he billed as major internal reforms. However, the changes were seen by many as largely cosmetic.

Hours beforehand, Arafat sought to avert a crisis and keep himself in power by setting a January 20 date for new elections.

But the gambit appeared to fail when parliament's legal committee decided to force a vote on the entire cabinet, which Arafat hoped to avoid.
It seems as if Bush is making headway shaking up the Palestinian government. Maybe he's serious about Iraq as well....