Lebanese MP not backing down on demands for Hezbollah representation in Parliament
Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri (Source: AFP file photo)
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“Let it be clear that a Cabinet cannot be formed without Hezbollah,” Berri told As-Safir daily newspaper, adding that he takes the veto of the March 14 coalition against Hezbollah’s participation in the next government as “personal.”
“I consider the rejection of Hezbollah portfolios in the next Cabinet as directed against me personally,” he said.
Berri also described calls from March 14 to exclude Hezbollah from the Cabinet as “futile and impossible” and said “those who are calling for the isolation of Hezbollah are pushing toward Lebanon’s destruction.”
The speaker said that he has informed Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam that the current delicate stage requires an all-inclusive government that joins the country’s political rivals.
The formation of a new government by Salam after the resignation of the government of now caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati has been stalled for over three years over differences between the March 8 and March 14 rival camps.
March 14 has called for a government of non-political partisans while Hezbollah insists on being represented in a new government that joins political forces.
Salam’s latest proposal was a 24-member Cabinet line-up in which a third of the shares are each allocated to the March 14 and March 8 coalitions, and a third to centrists.