- Middle East/North Africa
Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah has offered his resignation to President Mahmoud Abbas just 2 weeks after taking office, an official in his press office told Reuters on Thursday.
It was not immediately clear whether Abbas would accept the resignation by Hamdallah, an academic and political independent whose cabinet only met for the first time last week.
The government source told Reuters that Hamdallah made the abrupt, unexpected move because of a "dispute over his powers."
Hamdallah's cabinet consists overwhelmingly of members of the Fatah party led by Abbas, and political commentators immediately questioned how much room he would have to maneuver.
His predecessor, American-educated economist Salam Fayyad, resigned in April after 6 years in power defined by tough economic challenges and rivalries with Fatah politicians, who were eager to get their hands on the levers of power.
Since a brief civil war in 2007 between the Western-backed secular Fatah party and the Islamist group Hamas, Palestinians have had no functioning parliament or national elections.
Abbas exercises limited self-rule in the Israeli-occupied West Bank while Hamas, which won 2006 legislative polls, has its own prime minister in the Gaza Strip.