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College president named Palestinian PM

From Kareem Khadder, CNN
June 3, 2013 -- Updated 0028 GMT (0828 HKT)
President Mahmoud Abbas appointed Rami Hamdallah (pictured) as prime minister on Sunday.
President Mahmoud Abbas appointed Rami Hamdallah (pictured) as prime minister on Sunday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Longtime West Bank university president chosen to form new government
  • Rami Hamdallah replaces Salaam Fayyad, who led caretaker government
  • He did post-graduate work at universities in Britain
  • He is the top official on the elections commission

(CNN) -- Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas named the president of a West Bank university as his new prime minister Sunday, a top aide said.

Rami Hamdallah has been asked to form a new Cabinet, Abbas adviser Sabri Saidam told CNN. The British-educated linguist is now the president of An-Najah National University in Nablus, West Bank.

Hamdallah will replace Salaam Fayyad, who has led a caretaker government since Abbas accepted his resignation in April. Fayyad's decision to step down was viewed as a step toward the possible establishment of a unity government between the two main Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas.

According to a profile on the An-Najah website, Hamdallah has been president of the university since August 1998. He is also the secretary-general of the Palestinian Central Elections Commission and head of the Palestinian stock exchange.

He received a doctorate in applied linguistics from the University of Lancaster in 1988 and a master's from the University of Manchester in 1982. He graduated from the University of Jordan in 1980 with a degree in the English language.

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