Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) Sunday asked his long-time adviser Mohammad Shtayyeh, 60, a member of the Fattah Central Committee, to form a new Palestinian government. The new prime minister has a PhD in economic developing form the UK University of Sussex.
Hamas announced it would not recognize the new prime minister since his appointment contradicts the decision the two factions recently confirmed to conduct oft-postponed elections to the Palestinian legislative council and presidency. The Shtayyeh appointment, said Hamas, proves that the Palestinian Authority headed by Abbas does not intend elections to take place. Elections were last scheduled for 2010 but postponed indefinitely. The two factions have been at daggers drawn since Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007.