Palestinian PM and government to resign
Ramallah - The Palestinian government was meeting early on Monday, with Prime Minister Salam Fayyad poised to hand his resignation and that of his cabinet to president Mahmud Abbas.
In the wake of the move, Abbas was to ask Fayyad to form a new government, with deliberations expected to begin immediately, a senior official said late on Sunday.
Abbas had already made known his intention to reshuffle the government headed by Fayyad, who was expected to retain the post of premier he has held since 2007.
Consultations on forming a new government have been in the works for several months but were delayed by the popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, he said.
On Saturday, the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank announced plans to hold presidential and parliamentary elections by September, running into immediate opposition from its Islamist Hamas rivals in the Gaza Strip.
Plans to hold a general election in January 2010 were called off over opposition from Hamas, which does not accept the legitimacy of Abbas's rule.
Last week, the Palestinian leadership also laid out plans to hold local elections on July 9, in what will be the first time Palestinians have gone to the polls since 2006.
Hamas has rejected all forms of voting called for by the Palestinian Authority, meaning the various polls will be limited to the West Bank.