Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Hamas makes its pick for the new Palestinian prime minister

According to my sources, the leading Hamas candidate for Palestinian premier is Sheik Adnan Asfur from Hebron.

Another top candidate isIsmail Haniyeh. A Gazan, he is viewed by Palestinians as a pragmatist who has forged good relations with rival factions.

Hamas is expected to pick a prime minister from among its West Bank leaders to bypass Israeli restrictions on Palestinian movement from the Gaza Strip to Ramallah for the opening session of the newly-elected legislative council Saturday, Feb. 18.

Hamas is livid at Abbas' last minute hijacking of their parliamentary power with a series of last minute laws designed to enhance the powers of the president, namely Abbas.

Hamas promised to annul these measures when its 74 members take their seats for the first time in the new house next Saturday.

It remains to be seen if Hamas has the two-thirds majority in the 132-seat house to annul Abbas’s legislation.

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