Bloomberg News

Palestinian Prime Minister Submits Resignation After Two Weeks

June 20, 2013

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah submitted his resignation to President Mahmoud Abbas today, quitting two weeks after taking office, according to a statement posted on the website of the official Wafa Palestinian news agency.

Hamdallah stepped down because he felt he was being given insufficient authority, Ihab Besieso, a spokesman for the prime minister’s office, said in a telephone interview.

Hamdallah, 54, who was previously president of An-Najah University in the West Bank city of Nablus, had been appointed by Abbas to replace Salam Fayyad, who resigned in April.

While often clashing with Abbas, Fayyad won the trust of bankers and foreign donors because of his campaign to root out corruption and build the governing foundations for a Palestinian state. The International Monetary Fund, where Fayyad worked for 14 years, said in March that the Palestinian Authority’s ability to govern was being eroded by its financial difficulties.

Without foreign aid, Abbas’s government would face a budget deficit of more than 7 percent of gross domestic product at a time when government borrowing from local banks is, according to the World Bank, “at the limit that the banking sector can sustain.” Foreign aid accounts for about 14 percent of GDP, while public-sector jobs are 22 percent of total employment, according to the World Bank.

To contact the reporters on this story: Fadwa Hodali in Jerusalem at fhodali@bloomberg.net; Jonathan Ferziger in Tel Aviv at jferziger@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net


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