Salam Fayyad

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Salam Fayyad
سلام فياض
Salam Fayyad (cropped).jpg
Prime Minister of PNA
In office
15 June 2007 – 6 June 2013
President Mahmoud Abbas
Preceded by Ismail Haniyeh*
Succeeded by Rami Hamdallah
Personal details
Born (1952-04-02) 2 April 1952 (age 66)
Deir al-Ghusun, West Bank
Political party Third Way
Alma mater American University of Beirut
St Edward's University
University of Texas, Austin
Religion Islam

Salam Fayyad (Arabic: سلام فياض‎‎, Salām Fayāḍ; born 2 April 1952) is a Palestinian politician and former Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority. His first, appointment on 15 June 2007, which was justified by the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas on the basis of "national emergency", was not confirmed by the Palestinian Legislative Council.[1] He was reappointed on 19 May 2009. Fayyad has also been the finance minister from 17 March 2007 and previously held the post from June 2002 to November 2006. Fayyad is an internationally respected economist and politician.[2]

On 13 April 2013, Fayyad resigned as prime minister. He resigned because of political differences between him and Abbas over the finance portfolio.[3] His successor, Rami Hamdallah, was named on 2 June 2013.[4]

Early life and education

Salam Fayyad was born in Deir al-Ghusun in northern West Bank on 2 April 1952. He graduated from the American University of Beirut in 1975[5] and received his MBA from St. Edward's University in 1980.[6] Fayyad has a PhD in economics, which he received from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a student of William Barnett and did early research on the American Divisia Monetary Aggregates, which he continued on the staff of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.


Fayyad began his teaching career at Yarmouk University in Jordan before joining the International Monetary Fund in 1987 where he served as representative to the Palestinian Authority from 1996 to 2001. Following this Fayyad served as the regional manager of the Arab Bank in the West Bank and Gaza until he accepted an offer to become Yasser Arafat's finance minister.

Upon resigning as finance minister, Fayyad ran as founder and leader of the new Third Way party in the legislative elections of 2006 alongside Hanan Ashrawi and Yasser Abd Rabbo.[8] Fayyad and Ashrawi won their seats.

He is seen as pro-Western and was predicted to be offered prime minister by both Fatah and by the winner of the elections: the List of Change and Reform. Fayyad was credited for the U.S. Congress' deposit of $200 million to the Palestinian Authority in 2009.[9] In response to the offer, Fayyad presented several conditions to becoming prime minister, including that Hamas would recognise Israel, which Hamas declined.

On 17 March 2007, Fayyad was again appointed finance minister, this time within the Fatah-Hamas coalition government.[10] On 15 June 2007, following the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip, Fayyad was appointed prime minister of a new "independent" government (without any Fatah or Hamas members) which is supported by the Fatah, Israel and the West. In April 2007, during his time as Palestinian minister of finance, Fayyad visited the Palestine Center in Washington, DC and gave a lecture entitled "Building a Thriving Economy and a Strong Democracy."[11]

This appointment has been challenged as illegal, because while the Palestinian Basic Law permits the president to dismiss a sitting prime minister, the appointment of a replacement requires the approval of the Legislative Council. The law provides that after removal of the prime minister (in this case, Ismail Haniyeh), the outgoing prime minister heads a caretaker government. The current Legislative Council, in which Hamas holds a majority of seats, has not approved the appointments of Fayyad or the balance of his new government. Fayyad's appointment was never placed before, or approved by it.[12] Haniyeh continues to operate as prime minister in Gaza, and is recognized by a large number of Palestinians as the legitimate acting prime minister. Anis al-Qasem, a constitutional lawyer who drafted the Basic Law, is among those who publicly declared the appointment of Fayyad to be illegal.[13]

On 7 March 2009, Salam Fayyad submitted his resignation to Abbas.[14] On 19 May 2009, Fayyad was reappointed to the post of Prime Minister.[15]

On 13 April 2013, Fayyad resigned for the second time. Abbas accepted his resignation but asked him to remain as interim prime minister of the Palestinian Authority until a new government could be formed.[16] He resigned because of political differences between him and Abbas over the finance portfolio.[3]


Known as "Fayyadism", Fayyad's political agenda holds that neither violence nor peaceful negotiations have brought the Palestinians any closer to an independent state. His main tenets are: 1) strong security, 2) good governance, and 3) economic opportunity.[17]

On 23 August 2009, Fayyad came out with a detailed working plan for the 13th Government of the Palestinian Authority for establishing the fundamental infrastructures of a Palestinian State, called "Palestine — Ending the Occupation, Establishing the State", in which he detailed a two-year working plan for reinforcing the institutions of the future Palestinian State. This included, among other elements, a separation of powers, a free market, the development of existing infrastructure, and the building of new infrastructure such as government offices, a stock market, and an airport, all with the purpose of establishing a "de facto Palestinian State," based on the premise that the peace talks with Israel were faltering.[18][19]

Thomas Friedman, an American columnist, praised Fayyad for trying to build functioning institutions of a Palestinian state, and not focusing on Israel. Unlike Yasser Arafat, Fayyad "calls for the opposite — for a nonviolent struggle, for building non corrupt transparent institutions and effective police and paramilitary units, which even the Israeli Army says are doing a good job; and then, once they are all up and running, declare a Palestinian state in the West Bank by 2011."[20]

In September 2010, The New York Review of Books published an article by Nathan Thrall that raised questions about the Fayyad plan and one of its central elements: United States-sponsored training, equipping, and funding of the Palestinian Authority's security forces, which have been cooperating with Israel at unprecedented levels in the West Bank to quell supporters of Hamas, the main Palestinian Islamist group that opposes negotiations with Israel.[21]

Management of the West Bank

Fayyad won international and domestic approval for his management of the West Bank. The World Bank credited him with making substantial improvements in Palestinian state institutions.[22] A polling in November 2009 showed that 60.7% of Palestinians credited his government with improving the economy of the West Bank; 61.9% faulted Hamas for the deterioration in the economy of Gaza. 54.4% of Palestinians believed that Fayyad's government is superior to the Hamas government.[23] 57.1% of Palestinians believed that Fayyad's government advanced reforms of the Palestinian Authority, 52% believe corruption decreased and 48% believed that security improved under his governance.[24]

On Palestinian statehood

Fayyad has rejected calls for a binational state and unilateral declaration of statehood:

"[Statehood] is not something that is going to happen to the Israelis, nor something that is going to happen to the Palestinians.... is something that will grow on both sides as a reality... creating a belief that this was inevitable through the process, a convergence of two paths, the political and the process, from the bottom up and the top down."[25]

On 29 June 2011, in contravention of the Palestinian Authority's official position, and that of president Mahmoud Abbas, Fayyad expressed skepticism about its approach to the United Nations for a vote on statehood, saying it would be only a symbolic victory.[26]

See also


  1. "Palestinian PM: Ready to leave post once new premier is chosen". Global Times. 20 November 2011. Retrieved 19 February 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Profile: Salam Fayyad. BBC News, 17 June 2007
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Abbas asks caretaker Palestinian PM to stay on". Agence France-Presse. 13 August 2013. Retrieved 19 February 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Abbas Tasks Rami Hamdallah to Form New Palestinian Govt". Naharnet. Retrieved 2 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Kershner, Isabel. "Salam Fayyad". The New York Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 1980 MBA Graduate of St. Edward's University
  7. Fayyad Warns Islamic Preachers Forbes, 29 June 2007
  8. Palestinian third way rises CS Monitor, Ilene R. Prusher, 13 December 2005
  9. Peraino, Kevin. "Palestine's New Perspective." Newsweek. 14 September 2009: 43-47.
  10. "EU allows contacts with non-Hamas ministers". Al Jazeera. 17 March 2007. Retrieved 30 November 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[dead link]
  11. "Building a Thriving Economy and a Strong Democracy". The Jerusalem Fund. 23 April 2007. Retrieved 29 August 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Whose Coup Exactly?, The Electronic Intifada, 18 June 2007
  13. "Opinion of lawyer who drafted Palestinian law". Reuters. 8 July 2007. Retrieved 19 February 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Palestinian PM Fayyad steps down BBC NEWS 7 March 2009, Retrieved 7 March 2009
  15. Palestinians Reappoint Prime Minister Who Had Quit New York Times 19 May 2009, Retrieved 20 May 2009
  16. Kershner, Isabel (13 April 2013). "Palestinian Prime Minister Resigns, Adding Uncertainty to Government". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 April 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. Fayyad boosts Palestinian cause by Tobias Buck 12 April 2010, Retrieved 7 July 2010.
  18. Ali Waked, תוכנית פיאד: פלסטין דמוקרטית וקפיטליסטית, Yediot Ahronot, 25 August 2009
  19. Avi Yisasharof, ראש הממשלה הפלסטיני, סלאם פיאד: מדינה דה-פקטו בתוך שנתיים, Haaretz, August 2009
  20. Friedman, Thomas L. (17 March 2010). "Let's Fight Over a Big Plan". The New York Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. Nathan Thrall (14 October 2010). "Our Man in Palestine". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved 2010. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. "Reports See Fiscal Woes Undermining Palestinians". New York Times. 12 September 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. "Palestinian Public Opinion 2006-2011; decline of Hamas, rise of Fatah". Tabeer.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. "Poll 172". PCPO.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. Friedson, Felice. "Fayyad rejects bi-natio." JPost. Retrieved 30 November 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. Ravid, Barak (28 June 2011). "Palestinian PM: UN recognition of state will just be symbolic victory". Haaretz. Retrieved 30 November 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Ismail Haniyeh
Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority
Prime Minister of the State of Palestine

Succeeded by
Rami Hamdallah