Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri will not step down and will form a new government, caretaker Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk said Thursday, playing down fears that the latest hurdle to the government formation was insurmountable.
“He will not [step down]. The independent Sunni MPs [demanding representation in Cabinet] used the wrong door ... which is not suitable for any of them to be named a minister,” Machnouk told reporters after a meeting with Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdel-Latif Derian at Dar al-Fatwa.
A demand by six Sunni MPs from outside Hariri’s Future Movement for representation in the next government is the last remaining hurdle to the formation.
The last-minute snag has stalled the Cabinet formation, after a national unity government embracing all the major political parties was all but ready late last month after the issue of the Lebanese Forces’ representation was resolved.
Hariri has been in France for nearly a week, and Machnouk, a member of Hariri’s Future Movement, said that the premier-designate was there because “there’s no need for daily talks at this stage, but he will be back within days.”
Prior to Derian’s meeting with Machnouk, the religious leader received the “independent” Sunni MPs. According to a statement from Dar al-Fatwa, “its doors are open to all Lebanese parties.” The religious body called for obstacles to be removed in the face of government formation and for “Lebanon’s interests to be considered above all else.”
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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