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Lebanese Sources: Hariri Will Not Propose New Initiative on Govt. Formation

Lebanese Sources: Hariri Will Not Propose New Initiative on Govt. Formation

Tuesday, 11 September, 2018 - 18:45
Lebanese PM-designate Saad Hariri. (Dalati & Nohra)
Beirut - Thaer Abbas
Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri will not make any further initiatives concerning the formation of a new cabinet, informed Lebanese sources told Asharq Al-Awsat on Monday.

“Hariri has already offered a cabinet line-up including the lowest limit of shares that he thinks is accepted by all parties. He cannot go beyond that,” the sources said, adding that the PM was currently waiting for others to take the initiative in this regard.

The PM-designate had arrived in The Hague on Monday night to attend the closing hearings of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), which began Tuesday with the closing arguments of Prosecutor Norman Farrell. The STL is looking into the assassination of the premier’s father, former PM Rafik Hariri, in 2005.

The Lebanese people will, therefore, face a long period of anticipation concerning the birth of the new cabinet.

On Monday, President Michel Aoun denied before reporters that he was responsible for hindering the formation process.

“Once the cabinet formula is balanced, the formation of the government will take place according to the criteria and principles cited in my speech on August 1,” he said.

Last week, Hariri presented a draft cabinet line-up to Aoun for "a national unity government" that does dot not see one political camp claim “victory” over another.

However, Aoun voiced reservations over the line-up, claiming it does not adhere to standards he had previously announced regarding the government format.

In a chat with the press on his flight to the French city of Strasbourg on Monday, the president said: "It is not permissible for any side or sect to monopolize representation or marginalize any group for the benefit of another."

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