Lebanese Premier Still Searching for Consensus Cabinet

Published August 12th, 2018 - 12:18 GMT
Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri insists on "the formation of a government of national consensus". (AFP/ File)
Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri insists on "the formation of a government of national consensus". (AFP/ File)
Lebanon's Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri insists on "the formation of a government of national consensus", according to the Future Movement's Secretary-General Ahmad al-Hariri.

"This means that there is no room for a majority-based government; the national consensus entails the participation of the parliament's main political components in the next cabinet", the Future Movement official said during a radio interview.

Meanwhile, Speaker Nabih Berri continued his talks with the different political parties in an attempt to solve the deadlock hampering the government's formation.

Berri met on Saturday with Information Minister in the caretaker government Melhem Riachi, who conveyed the views of Lebanese Forces Leader Samir Geagea.

During their meeting in Ain el-Tineh, Berri and Riachi discussed for more than an hour the general situation in Lebanon and developments at the government formation level.

Addressing reporters, the information minister described the talks as "excellent", noting that Berri was helping the premier-designate solve the nodes hindering the creation of a new government.

"Speaker Berri is helping the PM-designate to overcome cabinet formation hurdles, and so is LF leader Samir Geagea," he affirmed.

The minister added that there were still some obstacles standing in the way of forming the new cabinet.

"Some think that the government is formed on Mount Olympus where the gods of mythology live!" Riachy exclaimed, underlining the need for the political blocs to be realistic in their demands of ministerial shares.

Riachi was expected to meet with the prime minister-designate on Saturday evening.

Around 80 days have passed since the designation of Hariri to form a new government, without the latter being able to resolve the main obstacles, represented by the Christian and the Druze nodes.

The Progressive Socialist Party (PSP), led by Walid Jumblatt, is insisting on having the full Druze share in the government (3 ministries in a government of 30 portfolios). On the other hand, the Lebanese Forces party is demanding to have a key ministerial portfolio.

In this regard, talks have emerged on the possibility to form a "de-facto government", which means a majority government, as a means to overcome the current deadlock.

But Ahmad al-Hariri quickly denied the reports, stressing that the premier-designate was committed to the formation of a national consensus government. 

He emphasized that no main component would be marginalized and no party would be given the vetoing power.
This article has been adapted from its original source.

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