Lebanon cabinet : Almost there

Amal Movement MP Ali Khreiss said on Thursday that a deal was made over the distribution of shares between the March 8 parties in the upcoming cabinet but the only remaining sticking issue is the Interior Ministry portfolio

“The number of seats in the upcoming cabinet and the distribution of portfolios have been resolved, except for the Interior Ministry issue,” Khreiss told Voice of Lebanon .

“There is no justification for the delay in the formation of the cabinet… the delay does not benefit anyone” he added.

Amal is headed by Lebanon Speaker Nabih Berri. There were reports on Thursday that Berri prefers to keep the Caretaker cabinet which is headed by outgoing PM Saad Hariri until the situation in Syria becomes more clear.

Al-Hayat newspaper also quoted some March 8 sources as saying in remarks published on Thursday that consultations between PM-designate Najib Mikati and Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun through the mediation of Hezbollah led to a ” partial agreement l.”

Aoun, who has been bickering with President Michel Suleiman over the interior ministry, has agreed to share 10 ministerial portfolios with his allies the Marada movement and the Tashnag party . One state ministerial portfolio is included in the share .

An agreement has reportedly also been reached over who shouldn’t get the interior :

“Neither Caretaker Interior Minister Ziad Baroud , nor FPM”.

Baroud was hailed after the 2009 elections as one of the best ministers of Interior Lebanon has ever had . Even Aoun praised him.

Mikati was appointed in January as the PM designate with the backing of the Hezbollah March 8 alliance and MPs Walid Jumblatt and Mohammad Safadi . March 14 leaders have repeatedly said that intimidation from Hezbollah’s weapons helped secure the parliamentary majority for Mikati’s nomination.

Aoun’s demand that he should receive a blocking third of cabinet seats, including the Interior Ministry , currently part of President Michel Suleiman’s cabinet share has reportedly been the main reason behind the delay in cabinet formation.

  • Rafic

    Delaying formation of the cabinet, I see three conspiracies or scenarios here as our neighbours regime is weakening day by day, one is General Aoun wants a bigger share for Christians since the latter been marginalized for so many years. Second the HA waiting longer to solve the dilema so they can come out stronger and freeier from Syrian constrains and form a more pro HA cabinet. Thirdley PM Mikati is waiting as Syrian regime is weakening he has more free hand to form a cabinet to his liking and Made in Mikati.

  • Anonymous

    Delaying formation of the cabinet, I see three conspiracies or scenarios here as our neighbours regime is weakening day by day, one is General Aoun wants a bigger share for Christians since the latter been marginalized for so many years. Second the HA waiting longer to solve the dilema so they can come out stronger and freeier from Syrian constrains and form a more pro HA cabinet. Thirdley PM Mikati is waiting as Syrian regime is weakening he has more free hand to form a cabinet to his liking and Made in Mikati.

  • PROPHET.T

    Three month ago , I predicted that Lebanon was heading toward a political,and maybe a constitutional crises,and that a New cabinet was a just a dream,and I STILL think that a government may not be formed anytime soon. I hope I’m wrong, we will wait and see.
    http://yalibnan.com/2011/01/13/berritalks-on-forming-a-new-government-start-on-monday/#comment-128808612