Lebanon's Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri said on Monday he handed his national unity Cabinet structure to President Michel Sleiman. “The President told me he will study the structure, make his decision thereto and see whether to sign the decree or not”, Hariri conveyed after the meeting.
The Opposition, led by Hizbullah, had hinted at rejecting the list. According to press reports, the Cabinet makeup is based on the already agreed upon 15-10-5 formula, taking into account the demands of the Opposition. It is aimed at pleasing the various political parties, but is likely to upset the Free Patriotic Movement led by Christian leader Gen. Michel Aoun's demand for Gebran Bassil, his son-in-law, to keep his post as telecoms minister. Aoun also wants to name the new interior minister.
The latest meeting between Hariri and Bassil did not produce any significant changes. According to a report in A-Safir newspaper, Bassil said Hariri was trying to impose conditions on the opposition. "He wants to form a government by fire, pressure and extortion," Bassil was quoted as saying.
Hariri is ready to give Aoun's Free Patriotic Movement party the public works and education portfolios while the telecommunications ministry would go to Ghazi Aridi and the energy to the Lebanese Forces (LF).