Lebanon’s New Cabinet Falls Victim to LF-FPM Tension

Lebanon’s New Cabinet Falls Victim to LF-FPM Tension

Tuesday, 26 June, 2018 - 06:15
President Michel Aoun
 receives Monday MP Sethrida Geagea, who extended to him an invitation to attend the Cedars International Festival 2018/NNA
Beirut - Paula Astih
Cabinet formation efforts stumbled on Monday after President Michel Aoun rejected a draft lineup presented by PM-designate Saad Hariri last week, considering that the proposal would offer the Lebanese Forces a share from his ministers and that of the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM).

FPM parliamentary sources warmed from any “attempt to hold President Aoun responsible for the delay in cabinet formation.”

The sources said some parties are trying to benefit from the FPM’s efforts to speed up the cabinet formation which is required in light of the dire economic situation in the country.

“We will not abandon our rights and we will not surrender to some parties that are trying to enforce new regulations in the government formation process,” the sources told Asharq Al-Awsat on Monday.

Leading sources from the Mustaqbal Movement said the version presented by Hariri to Aoun last Friday was not a final proposal, rather a draft aimed at testing the reaction of all parties.

“Cabinet formation is still paralyzed by the struggle between the two Christian parties- the LF and the FPM - from one side, and Aoun on the other side, the sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.  

They added that Hariri is responding to the LF demands in his attempts to form an efficient and balanced government, which guarantees a successful presidential term.

The cabinet seat allocated to the deputy Prime Minister constitutes another obstacle to the birth of the new government. Also, Hezbollah insists that the 10 Sunni MPs who are close to the party get a ministerial seat in the new government.

Sources from the “Shi’ite duo” (Hezbollah and Amal Movement) told Asharq Al-Awsat that no government could be formed if one side is isolated, particularly that the last parliamentary elections proved that the Sunni representation is not restricted to Hariri.

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