Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri is expected to resume his consultations to form a new government next week despite the new pessimism that has pervaded the country in wake of caretaker Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil’s recent statements.
Bassil set on Friday a new condition for the government formation by proposing that each parliamentary bloc be granted one minister for every five seats won in the May elections.
His demand soured the positive mood that Hariri spoke about a day earlier when he predicted that a government would be formed within ten days.
Lebanese sources following the government formation efforts spoke of “positive efforts” that will produce a new cabinet soon.
They did not however set a deadline for when the government will see the light.
They only told Asharq Al-Awsat that serious efforts were being exerted to overcome obstacles, despite the recent escalation.
Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) leader Walid Jumblatt meanwhile, said that Bassil’s proposal must be “deeply” studied, while also committing to Hariri’s recent suggestions.
“We must also take into consideration the factor of time, which is not in our favor,” he added.
“The danger of the ongoing delay was highlighted by Speaker Nabih Berri and we share his grave concern,” he stressed.
Hariri is expected to hold direct talks soon with the main political powers that are linked the obstacles hindering the government formation process.
Sources said that the PM is expected to hold a meeting with Bassil, who is set to relay to him his stance and the size of the concessions his Free Patriotic Movement is willing to offer for the government.
Hariri is also set to meet with Lebanese Forces, PSP and Marada Movement representatives.
Mustaqbal bloc MP Mohammed al-Hajjar said that Hariri was maintaining his optimism despite all the current obstacles.
He is determined to overcome these obstacles and he is counting on the officials’ sense of responsibility to help facilitate the government formation process.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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