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‘Hezbollah’ Sets 2 Main Conditions in Lebanese Govt. Negotiations

‘Hezbollah’ Sets 2 Main Conditions in Lebanese Govt. Negotiations

Saturday, 26 May, 2018 - 07:00
Lebanese PM Saad Hariri meets with former PM Najib Miqati on Friday. (NNA)
Beirut - Paula Astih
As efforts kick off to form a new government in Lebanon, the Shiite duo of “Hezbollah” and the Amal Movement are seeking to invest their alleged victory in the parliamentary elections, after winning 26 out of 27 Shiite seats, to request two main portfolios in the new Cabinet.

They are insisting that the Finance Ministry be offered to a candidate from the Amal Movement, while “Hezbollah” receives another main portfolio.

According to reports, “Hezbollah” set two conditions for facilitating the formation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s cabinet.

The first is to receive all Shiite ministerial seats to match the duo’s parliamentary representation. The second condition demands that they receive one sovereign and two main portfolios.

The party wants a “Hezbollah” candidate to receive a “significant” ministerial portfolio, according to sources from the Shiite duo.

The party would also insist on granting a portfolio to one of its Sunni allies. “This, however, would be a demand, not a condition,” they added.

On Thursday and after a long day of binding consultations with MPs, President Michel Aoun reappointed Hariri as prime minister and officially tasked him with forming a new government.

Hariri reaped the support of 111 lawmakers out of 128 to be reappointed premier. As in two previous premiership consultations, “Hezbollah” MPs did not name Hariri as a candidate.

As is tradition, the PM-designate kicked off after his appointment visits to former prime ministers.

In this regard, he met with former PMs Selim al-Hoss, Najib Miqati, Fouad Siniora and Tammam Salam.

The consultation meetings with parliamentary blocs to form a government will begin on Monday.

“We want a government based on national consensus, and we have to adopt the rotation of power to move away from political sectarianism,” Hariri said on Friday.

In an indirect reference to “Hezbollah,” he stressed that it was wise not to name in the new cabinet any person convicted of crimes, saying this matter should be treated in the legal framework.

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