Palestinian Finance Minister Salam Fayyad, who has battled parliament to force it to carry out fiscal belt tightening measures, has submitted his resignation ahead of legislative elections due in January.
Fayyad, a former International Monetary Fund official, said on Saturday he wanted to step down because he was considering running in the polls, and turned in his resignation as required under Palestinian law.
Other officials who asked not to be named said his resignation was in protest against the governments refusal to implement concrete fiscal reforms.
Our election law requires that cabinet members considering running for parliament should resign two months before the election date, and I am one of those, Fayyad told Reuters. He did not say whether he had made a final decision on running.
The aid-dependent Palestinian Authority is under pressure to carry out fiscal reforms, and Fayyads resignation followed threats by foreign donors in October to suspend direct budget support unless ballooning public wage costs were reversed.
There was no immediate word on whether Prime Minister Ahmed Qurie would accept the resignation, which comes as Palestinians are under increasing scrutiny over how they run the Gaza Strip — seen as a proving ground for statehood following Israels withdrawal after 38 years of occupation.
His resignation is going to affect the Palestinian Authority very negatively, political analyst Ali Jarbawi said. He was trusted by the international community, and this trust will disappear when he goes.
The World Bank has said boosting the Palestinian economy is crucial to peacemaking. Donors have given an average of $25 million a month this year in budget support for the Palestinian Authority, according to figures from an international envoy