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Fatah Likely to Get 4 Portfolios, Hamas 7 in New Cabinet
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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party is likely to get four portfolios in the coming coalition government, while the ruling Hamas will get seven in addition to the post of prime minister, Ramattan news agency reported on Wednesday.

Ramattan said the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Third Way would get two portfolios respectively. The Democratic Front would get one.

Mohammed Dahlan, a prominent Fatah leader, negotiator and former minister, would be in charge of the new Ministry of Civil Affairs in the coalition, the report said.

The civil affairs department now is part of the Interior Ministry. Its work includes daily coordination with Israel.

Ramattan added that the new coalition government would come into being in two weeks and still be headed by Prime Minister Ismail Haneya of Hamas.

According to Ramattan, current Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar will hand over his post to Hanan Ashrawi, an independent lawmaker representing the Third Way bloc in the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC).

There were still disagreements on the interior portfolio, with Hamas nominating current minister Said Siam, who was strongly opposed by Fatah.

(Xinhua News Agency September 14, 2006)

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