Arafat in no hurry to shuffle cabinet
Palestine, Politics, 8/4/1997
Yasser Arafat said on August 2 that he would not take immediate action on an offer by most of his ministers to resign over reports of corruption and mismanagement.
He spoke in Gaza on his return from Egypt where he had talks with President Hosni Mubarak about the grave crisis in the peace process with Israel following a double suicide bombing in occupied Jerusalem on July 31.
Some ministers said Arafat would not carry out a reshuffle soon despite the offer, made at a cabinet meeting on August 1 in the West Bank town of Ramallah.
"Chairman Arafat desires to postpone the issue for the time being because of the very difficult circumstances in the political process," Telecommunications Minister Imad Al Falonji said.
Another, Yasser Abd Rabbo, the minister of Information did not offer to resign and said that the actions of his colleagues will have little impact on the operations of the government and is done for theatrics.
Arafat has previously indicated that he is prepared to reshuffle his cabinet but Transport Minister Ali Al Qawasmeh said he doubted the Palestinian leader would act now.
"No resignation at this time... we must be united together in front of the Israeli measures," Qawasmeh said.
The Palestinian legislative council gave Arafat one month to dissolve his cabinet, voting 56-1 that he appoint a new team of "qualified and experienced ministers."
There is a growing sentiment amongst many ordinary citizens that the missmanagement of funds is prevelant and money is being diverterd for the self-serving benefits of officeholders.
Arafat shies away from major cabinet changes
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