Jumblatt vows not to join opposition
Progressive Socialist Part (PSP) leader MP Walid Jumblatt was quoted Tuesday by Lebanese newspapers his party would align itself with Lebanese President Michel Suleiman. The announcement comes two days after Jumblatt announced his party would leave the Western-backed March 14 coalition.
“I am an independent. I will not affiliate with any other team. I am going to join the president, which is considered as a guarantee when deciding on the big issues,” Jumblatt said. “I will examine the conditions when I have to vote in Parliament and the cabinet,” he said before adding, “In the cabinet, we will join the president.”
When questioned on how his party’s departure will affect March 14, he said, “There are enough MPs in the Democratic Gathering to vote with the majority.” He also said several MPs within his bloc would vote in favor of the majority.
He stressed that he will not join the opposition. Jumblat conveyed his Sunday announcement "will not change the Cabinet lineup." "The majority will remain a majority," he said.
Nevertheless, it remains unclear how his party’s departure will affect efforts to establish a new Lebanese government. One Lebanese politician told Reuters on Tuesday that plans were drawn up to divide seats in a new 30-minister government in a way that would take away March 14’s absolute majority and the opposition March 8’s veto power.