Abbas asks PA ministers to halt costly political ads
Published Tuesday 22/05/2012 (updated) 27/05/2012 00:01
Relatives, business leaders and other supporters commonly buy space in
daily newspapers to congratulate a new minister. (MaanImages)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- After the new Palestinian Authority cabinet was sworn in last week, President Mahmoud Abbas asked ministers to try to halt the usual spate of political congratulation adverts, sources close to the discussions said.
Relatives, business leaders and other supporters commonly buy space in daily newspapers to congratulate a new minister.
Abbas told ministers that while the PA is in deep financial crisis, the vast sums spent on such adverts should be dedicated to Palestinians facing poverty.
The ministers of health and justice also urged against publishing congratulations.
Political adverts, however, continue to appear in daily newspapers each day, congratulating new ministers in the West Bank government as well as those who held on to their portfolios.
On Wednesday, President Abbas swore in a new cabinet to his West Bank government amid stalled reconciliation efforts with rival party Hamas.
Gaza's Hamas rulers said the president should instead have focused on a forming a unity government. On Sunday, the parties agreed on a new deadline for the joint government to oversee new elections.
Under the deal agreed in the Egyptian capital, the Palestinian Elections Commission will begin work in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip on May 27, after which President Mahmoud Abbas will immediately begin consultations on a consensus government as previously agreed by party leaders.