Hezbollah putting more pressure on Jumblatt to switch, report


Future TV quoted on Monday an unnamed source as saying that postponing the parliamentary consultations to nominate a new premier served the interest of Hezbollah-led March 8 coalition.

The postponement was reportedly requested by the March 8 coalition.

Earlier it was reported that that caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri was against postponing parliamentary consultations .

Lebanon postponed talks on forming a new government on Monday, leaving regional leaders meeting in Syria to tackle the political crisis triggered by the imminent indictments over the 2005 killing of former PM Rafik al-Hariri.

A statement from President Michel Suleiman’s office said the consultations in Beirut had been put back by a week “after evaluating the different positions of the Lebanese parties”.

Ya Libnan correspondent reported that the opposition is still trying to pressure MP Walid Jumblatt to switch. Jumblatt’s 11 member parliamentary bloc to guarantee success for the March 8 nominee.

Parliamentary arithmetic

Hariri’s “March 14″ coalition won a majority in the 128-seat assembly in a 2009 election, but Jumblatt who was a central figure in the Cedar Revolution has since defected.

Current makeup

March 14 71 members

March 8 57 members

If Jumblatt switches his 11 members to March 8 then March 14 will end up with 60 members and March 8 will end up with 68 members

But according to local reports Jumblatt was unable to convince the members of his bloc to switch despite the pressure by Hezbollah and Syria

At best Jumblatt can switch himself and 5 other members according to local observers…. in this case:

March 14 will end up with 65 members ( 71-6)

March 8 will end up with 63 members ( 57 +6)

In such a scenario Hariri will be renominated to lead the new cabinet