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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 March 2006, 19:41 GMT
PLO criticises Hamas' programme
Mahmoud Zahhar and other Hamas MPs
Hamas cabinet nominations are expected to be approved
The Palestine Liberation Organisation has urged Hamas to reconsider its agenda for government, after its sweeping election victory in January.

The PLO leadership again criticised the Islamic group for refusing to accept the PLO's traditional role as the supreme representative of Palestinians.

Unlike other Palestinian factions, Hamas refuses to join the PLO.

Hamas politicians later said the parliament would meet on Saturday to approve the new cabinet.

Hamas' nominee for foreign minister, Mahmoud Zahhar, said the PLO's statement was irrelevant.

"Nobody can make demands on us at this moment," he said.


The group presented its list of ministers to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas last week.

The proposed team includes technocrats, but is dominated by Hamas members after the militant movement failed to win any coalition partners.

The cabinet is expected to be approved by the Palestinian Legislative Council because the militant group won 74 seats of the 132 contested in the elections.

The spokesman for Hamas' bloc in parliament, Salah al-Bardawi, said the Islamist group's leaders had met Mr Abbas and had agreed that parliament would convene at the weekend.

"We have agreed with President Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] to do it on Saturday," he said.

The date of the session is expected to be formally confirmed after parliamentary Speaker Aziz al-Duwaik meets Mr Abbas.

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