Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri on Monday denied reports that a dispute over the government’s justice portfolio was delaying the unveiling of a new cabinet lineup.
“It’s not the issue of the justice portfolio [that’s hindering formation of the incoming government], but rather the issue of cabinet quotas [for the country’s main ethno-religious segments],” Hariri told reporters.
He added, however, that “everything will become much clearer in the days ahead”.
On Saturday, Hariri reportedly learned of President Michel Aoun’s stated desire to not give the justice portfolio to the Lebanese Forces party.
The dispute between Aoun and the Lebanese Forces has since been reportedly settled in favor of the former, with Hariri now hoping to give the party an alternative portfolio, which is likely to be taken from the quota reserved for Hariri’s Future Movement.
Following parliamentary polls in May, Aoun tasked Hariri with drawing up a new government.
The process, however, has faced repeated delays amid mutual recriminations and demands by certain parties for greater representation in the incoming cabinet.
According to Lebanon’s constitution, the prime minister-designate does not have a deadline for forming the government.
Under the Lebanese constitution and the 1989 Taif Accord (which ended Lebanon’s 15-year civil war), government posts are shared between the country’s main ethno-religious groupings, with six cabinet portfolios reserved for Sunni Muslims, six for Shia Muslims, and three for Druze.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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