The Palestinian president Abbas on Sunday picked a little-known academic as his new prime minister, according to the official government news agency, following the resignation of his chief rival.
Mahmoud Abbas appointed Rami Hamdallah to replace Salam Fayyad, a respected U.S.-educated economist. Fayyad frequently clashed with Abbas and was seen as being too independent.
Outgoing Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad frequently clashed with President Mahmoud Abbas. (Majdi Mohammed/Associated Press)
Appointing Hamdallah is likely to shore up the president’s power, because he is seen as being more pliant. The new prime minister was tasked with forming a new government of technocrats, not politicians.
Hamdallah is a member of the Fatah Party led by Abbas. He has no prior political or government experience.
Like Fayyad, Hamdallah is widely respected.
He is a British-educated English professor and has been dean of the Palestinian al-Najah University in the West Bank for the past 15 years. He has served as the secretary general of the Palestinian central elections commission since 2002. He has also held a series of prominent roles in university associations, according to his curriculum vitae, published on the al-Najah University website.