Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, announced he had accepted Salam Fayyad, his Prime Minister’s resignation. Fayyad handed his resignation in on Saturday. Abbas asked that Fayyad head the caretaker government, said officials following a meeting held in Ramallah.
An official, who is high-ranking, said Fayyad told him he would not remain as the head of the government, regardless if he were asked to stay on at his post.
Recently rumors have been rife regarding Fayyad resigning or being told to step down by President Abbas as the longstanding differences the two mean have, came to a head because of the group’s finance portfolio.
In early March, Nabil Qassis, the finance minister stepped down. Fayyad accepted Qassis’ resignation but Abbas was out of the country and rejected it.
Fayyad was in charge of the finance portfolio prior to Qassis handling it starting in May of last year when he was appointed.
The move by Fayyad was not unexpected or surprising, as he has submitted a number of resignations prior to this one. One analyst said it was a difficult situation for Fayyad as he is has been criticized by Fatah, Abbas’ inner circle, but he belongs to neither Hamas nor Fatah.
Late Friday, John Kerry the U.S. Secretary of State spoke on the phone to Abbas is talk about the situation with Fayyad, said an official from Palestine.
Members of the international community credit Fayyad, a U.S. educated economist, with building solid government institutions around the West Bank ruling Palestinian Authority.