‘Lebanese Forces’ Seeking FPM’s Same Representational Size in Cabinet

‘Lebanese Forces’ Seeking FPM’s Same Representational Size in Cabinet

Monday, 25 June, 2018 - 06:15
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri speaks during a press conference in Beirut, Lebanon, May 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)
Beirut - Nazeer Rida
An insistence by the Lebanese Forces (LF) party on getting the “right representation” or a share equal to that of the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) in the new government is delaying the cabinet formation process.

Caretaker Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil, who heads the FPM party, has made an outright rejection of such a request.

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi had a say on Sunday regarding the standstill. He called for a government that includes technocrats and competent ministers, instead of resorting to quotas and shared interests.

“The Lebanese people are not asking for a government that includes ordinary ministers or a cabinet in which there are quotas and personal interests … They rather want a technocratic government,” he said in his sermon.

The Patriarch also referred to the challenges that the next government will face, calling for the adoption of structural reforms in all sectors, mainly in commerce and education.

Lebanese Forces MP Wehbe Qatisha rejected accusations that his party was responsible for any delay in the cabinet formation. “We only demand a rightful representation,” based on an agreement the LF had reached with the FPM before the election of Michel Aoun as President.

Qatisha told Asharq Al-Awsat: “We are holding onto (our request for) five ministers, including a sovereign portfolio, similar to the share of the FPM, in addition to the deputy PM seat.”

For his part, Hezbollah's caretaker Minister of Youth and Sports Mohammed Fneish, told the newspaper that serious efforts should be exerted by all parties for the birth of a national unity government based on a common vision.

Although he said that PM-designate Saad Hariri was still in the acceptable timeframe for the cabinet formation, Fneish insisted that parties should not oversize their representational share.

All political disputes and disagreements must be placed aside, he said. “Parties should stop listening to foreign dictates.”

The minister added that the new cabinet has a tough mission of treating people’s social, economic, financial and development needs.

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