- Title: Pandemic boosts Palestinian premier as potential Abbas successor
- Date: 6th May 2020
- Summary: RAMALLAH, WEST BANK (MAY 6, 2020) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) ANALYST AND LECTURER OF CULTURAL STUDIES AND CONTEMPORARY ARAB STUDIES AT BIRZEIT UNIVERSITY, GHASSAN KHATIB, SAYING: "I think that the good performance of this government and the improvement of the popularity of prime minister Mohammed Shtayyeh, would definitely increases his chances of succeeding president Abbas, but that depends on when the need for succession is going to take place, as the Palestinian internal politics is very very fluid and balance changes between competitors all the time."
- Embargoed: 20th May 2020 12:34
- Keywords: Mohammed Shtayyeh Palestinians coronavirus health prime minister
- Location: RAMALLAH, NEAR RAMALLAH, WEST BANK
- City: RAMALLAH, NEAR RAMALLAH, WEST BANK
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA005CCSMBLZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: One man has become the face of the Palestinians' response to the COVID-19 crisis, and it isn't aging President Mahmoud Abbas.
Rather, it is his prime minister, Mohammad Shtayyeh: an economist-turned-politician whose rapid rise and finesse in combating the pandemic has irked establishment politicians and led many to believe he will one day succeed Abbas as president.
For Shtayyeh -- an unelected Abbas appointee -- the urgency to halt the virus in the Israeli-occupied West Bank has helped reinvigorate the Palestinian Authority (PA), long viewed as corrupt and unproductive.
Some 96 percent of West Bank Palestinians trust the way the PA under Shtayyeh is dealing with the virus, according to a recent poll from the Jerusalem Media and Communications Centre.
The PA in March moved quickly to impose a full lockdown and ramp up testing in areas under its control in the West Bank, fearing the disease would overwhelm its weak health system.
In three months, the Palestinian have recorded two deaths but only 345 cases, which has largely been viewed as a success.
(Production: Suheir Sheikh, Ismael Khader, Saed Howari, Nuha Sharaf
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