The puppet PM


As most observers predicted, appointed Palestinian Prime Minister Abu Mazan has very little real power. His original cabinet list angered Yasser Arafat, so he was almost forced to resign before the two could come to an agreement about a new list.

Palestinian prime minister-designate, Mahmoud Abbas, ended his bitter standoff with Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat over the formation of a new Cabinet on Wednesday: Abbas will double as interior minister, and Mahmoud Dahlan will serve as state minister for security affairs, according to Palestinian Planning Minister Nabil Shaath.

[ . . . ]

Arafat had challenged several Abbas appointments, particularly that of former Gaza strongman Mohammed Dahlan to a key security post. However, at the root of the conflict appeared to have been the Palestinian leader’s reluctance to share power with Abbas, who has the backing of international Mideast mediators.

[ . . . ]

By law, Abbas has the sole authority to form the Cabinet, but in practice needs Arafat’s blessing. The ruling Fatah party, which sided with Arafat in the showdown, commands a solid majority in parliament, and it remained unclear whether Abbas’ Cabinet would win approval.

There’s no denying that both Arafat and Abbas are corrupt. So it frequently baffles me how international observers are watching this debacle with signs of hope. This is not real democracy, where one leader gets to veto everything that other officials do, and that these officials are appointed, not elected. Why people are going around calling it democratic reform is beyond me.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jeremy 04.24.03 at 6:25 AM

It’s amazing how any charge made by anyone other than you is unsubstantiated if not backed by the a thousand facts. Even then if the facts do not match with your views you deem them unsubstantiated as well. That’s what you decided about people who criticized Lowy. Whether he was qouted out of context or not, he still expressed what he felt about students in concordia in a very insincere manner and he didn’t even criticize the Canadian Jewish News for messing up his comments.

But you throw all these accusations about Arafat and his new buddy prime minister assuming that they’re corrupt. Can’t you back your accusations for once?! Mind you, I’m not saying the dickhead is not corrupt, but you can’t use this double standard of demanding others to justify their charges while you get away with mentioning monotonous trivia that’s been repeated in every news database a million times.


2 Realist 04.24.03 at 2:03 PM

Ahhh the Irony.

You say ” Can’t you back your accusations for once?!”

You say “and he didn’t even criticize the Canadian Jewish News for messing up his comment”. (about Lowy)

You’re going to have to learn to back up YOUR accusations for once.

He DID criticize them in a letter he wrote to the paper and it was published the following week.


3 Peter Lehrer 04.26.03 at 2:38 AM

I liked the way Saeb Erekat said “This is Palestinian democracy in action.” He’s right!


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