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New members of Palestinian Cabinet

Here are six key members of the new Palestinian Cabinet, two Yasser Arafat loyalists whose authority was trimmed and four rising politicians:

Loser: Ahmed Qureia, 67, prime minister since September 2003. Arafat loyalist and member of his dominant Fatah political faction, former speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council and key negotiator of interim peace agreements with Israel. Virtually all of his choices for ministerial posts in the new Cabinet were shot down by Palestinian lawmakers, many of whom want him to resign.

Loser: Nabil Sha'ath, 66, deputy prime minister. Arafat loyalist and Fatah member who was also named minister of information, although that portfolio may be taken away in favor of a council of media relations that's being proposed by some legislators. Sha'ath is the former foreign and planning minister.

Winner: Nasser Yousef, 61, interior and national security minister who'll be tasked with bringing Palestinian security agencies in line. Fatah member. Before his death, Arafat refused to let Yousef be named to this post. Yousef is a Palestinian security services general who nine years ago led a crackdown on Islamic militants in the Gaza Strip.

Winner: Salam Fayyad, 52, finance minister. Independent. This is his third term in this post. He's spearheaded financial reform within the Palestinian Authority.

Winner: Nasser al Kidwa, foreign minister. Fatah member. A dentist, al Kidwa has been the Palestinian representative at the United Nations since 1991. He's Arafat's nephew, but is reform-minded.

Winner: Mohammed Dahlan. 43, civil affairs minister. Fatah member. Former head of Palestinian security services in the Gaza Strip. Fluent in Hebrew, he's often called upon to negotiate with Israeli officials. Fell out of favor with Arafat in 2003, but was at his side during his final weeks.

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(Compiled by Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson in Ramallah.)

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(c) 2005, Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

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