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Lebanon: PM’s Bloc Insists on ‘Non-Provocative’ Candidate to Represent March 8 Sunnis in Govt.

Lebanon: PM’s Bloc Insists on ‘Non-Provocative’ Candidate to Represent March 8 Sunnis in Govt.

Sunday, 16 December, 2018 - 08:00
Lebanese PM-designate Saad Hariri. (Dalati & Nohra)
Beirut - Nazeer Rida
The positive climate that prevailed in Lebanon Saturday that the government crisis would be resolved before the end of the year did not dispel the main obstacle in the problem, which lies in the March 8 bloc’s Sunni MPs’ rejection of “preconditions” in the formation process.

Contacts between Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri and head of the Free Patriotic Movement Jebran Bassil could not drive the caretaker foreign minister to issue a final position over trading a Sunni minister from the share of President Michel Aoun with a Sunni minister representing the six deputies.

Although 200 days have passed since Hariri was nominated to form a new cabinet, signs emerged over reaching a final solution to the crisis after the Sunni deputies showed a more lenient stance in dealing with this file.

Sources said a possible solution is linked to first overcoming the demand of Hezbollah and the six deputies to be represented in the government and second, Bassil’s acceptance to trade a Sunni minister from Aoun’s share.

Sources from Hariri’s Mustaqbal Movement said he insists that the minister who should represent the March 8 deputies in the next cabinet be “a non-provocative figure,” appointed from the president’s share.

Those suggestions would be further discussed in a new round of talks, expected next week, following Hariri’s return from London.

One of the deputies in the March 8 Sunni MPs group, Qassem Hashem told Asharq Al-Awsat: “We will meet next Monday to discuss the latest proposals.”

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