Aoun: I am in no hurry over cabinet formation


Following a meeting of the Change and Reform parliamentary bloc , its leader MP Michel Aoun told reporters that he is in no hurry over the cabinet formation , but pledged that the new cabinet will be harmonious .

“There will be a harmonious cabinet that can implement its decisions,” Aoun said during a press conference on Monday.

“I am in no hurry for its formation. Last time we spent more than six months forming the cabinet , and a month has not passed yet ,” Aoun said after the bloc’s weekly meeting in Rabieh, in reference to the appointment of Nagib Mikati as PM designate to form and lead the new government

He also said that a fundamental change is taking place in the political system, after the fall of several political parties , spiritual leaderships and media outlets. He did not elaborate

In a related development a dispute between President Michel Suleiman Aoun over the distribution of Cabinet posts may delay the formation of a new government, the pro- Syrian newspaper Al-Akhbar reported

Al-Akhbar on Monday quoted well-informed sources as saying that government formation hit a snag after a “conflict” broke out between Suleiman and Aoun over the interior ministry portfolio.

The sources said that while Aoun is demanding to have the interior ministry, Suleiman is insisting on exclusively keeping this post .

Another dispute

In another development FPM sources were reportedly surprised by statements attributed to Mikati during an interview with Al-Hayat published Sunday, in which he said that he asked the former army general to provide him with names and qualifications so that the premier-designate can choose the right person for the job.

FPM sources accused Mikati of trying to give Suleiman a “large part of March 14 ’s quota, in reference to the March 14 share in the outgoing cabinet .

The Iranian- and Syrian-backed Hezbollah brought down PM Saad Hariri’s government on January 12 over the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s ( STL) indictment which is widely expected to implicate Hezbollah members in the assassination of former PM Rafik Hariri in 2005 .

Mikati, who was backed by Hezbollah and its March 8 allies including Jumblatt and Mohammad Safadi, was appointed by president Michel Suleiman as PM-designate to form and head the next cabinet , giving Hezbollah and its allies increased leverage in the country and provoking widespread protests by the Sunni community which considers Hariri as its leader