The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Arafat no-trust move put off

Ramallah, Sept. 10 (Reuters): The Palestinian parliament postponed a vote of confidence over Yasser Arafat’s new Cabinet today amid mounting criticism that he had not done enough to overhaul his government.

Arafat trimmed his Cabinet in June under pressure from inside and outside the region to streamline his security services and clean up corruption.

Before the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) session started in the West Bank city of Ramallah, some lawmakers criticised the appointment of the new Cabinet as a revolving door of the same old faces.

“There was no genuine change in the government,” said Jamal Shati, a lawmaker from the West Bank city of Jenin who is also a member of Fatah.

He said some of the ministers who lost portfolios remained on the payroll in other capacities.

Parliament Speaker Ahmed Korei said the PLC would meet again tomorrow, when its legal committee would decide whether lawmakers should vote to endorse the entire Cabinet or just vote on the new ministers.

Some lawmakers predicted an uphill battle to win approval.

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