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Hamas official: No dispute over Abbas heading unity govt

Jan. 23, 2013 10:07 A.M. (Updated: Jan. 24, 2013 7:25 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- There is no disagreement within Hamas about Mahmoud Abbas heading a unity government to be formed later this month, deputy head of Hamas politburo Mousa Abu Marzouq said Tuesday.

"We have agreed to the next government, headed by President Abbas, but the process of its formation and the selection of its members will be discussed further, because we all want a government that supports and strengthens reconciliation," Abu Marzouq said during an interview with Palestine TV.

"We want the incoming government to work on re-constructing the Gaza Strip, and to carry out all issues agreed between Fatah and Hamas," he added.

Internal Hamas elections have been delayed for technical reasons, Abu Marzouq said, adding that there are no internal disputes. Elections were expected at the end of last year, a Hamas official said in December, with Hamas' chief-in-exile Khaled Mashaal stating that he would not run for re-election as leader of the Islamist movement.

Last week, President Mahmoud Abbas and Mashaal agreed to set a timetable to implement their parties' reconciliation deal during a Cairo meeting, Fatah official Yahya Rabah said, adding that they set a Jan. 30 deadline for forming the unity government, which will be headed by Abbas.

The new government will be comprised of technocrats and dignitaries not affiliated to any political party. It will serve for an interim period to supervise parliamentary and presidential elections and oversee administrative procedures.

Factional infighting split Palestine into separate governments in Gaza and the West Bank in 2007. National elections and parliamentary approval of legislation have been on hold ever since.
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