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Fatah lawmakers approve Cabinet

Qorei's revised lineup backed after three-day political battle

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Fatah lawmakers approve P.M. Qorei's proposed Cabinet
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Ahmed Qorei
Mahmoud Abbas
Saeb Erakat
Hanan Ashrawi

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- After a three-day political battle, the main Palestinian Fatah faction agreed on a revised Palestinian Cabinet lineup submitted by Prime Minister Ahmed Qorei, chief negotiator Saeb Erakat said Wednesday.

The proposed Cabinet will be presented to the Palestinian Legislative Council on Thursday for confirmation.

The lawmakers had refused to rubber-stamp a new Cabinet, holding up the process.

"We want to make sure these are people who have credibility, the skills, the know-how, who are capable of undertaking the tasks they have been trusted with," Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi said.

The battle started Monday, when Qorei proposed a new Cabinet filled with old faces, including many accused by lawmakers of being corrupt, incompetent or both.

Even after Qorei made sweeping changes -- removing all politicians from the proposed Cabinet and replacing them with bureaucrats and technocrats -- many in the parliament said it was not enough and threatened a vote of no confidence.

The battle signaled a new chapter in Palestinian politics.

In the past, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat would choose from a small group of loyalists, regardless of their ability, with barely a word of dissent.

After Arafat's death in November, Mahmoud Abbas was elected to replace him as chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Then, Arafat's Fatah movement picked Abbas to be its candidate in the race for Palestinian Authority president, which he won in January.

"The people are more daring now after the passing of Mr. Arafat to ask and demand their rights and ask and demand democratic reform," said Mustafa Barghouti, who came a distant second in the presidential race.

After standing on the sidelines, Abbas called for unity Wednesday. The 24-member Cabinet -- which includes Qorei -- will serve until elections in July.

There was concern that the political battle would delay Abbas' trip to London on Tuesday for a Palestinian conference.

CNN's John Vause and Waffa Munayyer contributed to this report.

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