Gemayel meets with Suleiman over cabinet


Phalange Party Central Committee Coordinator MP Sami Gemayel visited the Baabda Palace for talks with President Michel Suleiman on the latest developments concerning the issue of cabinet formation.

Gemayel told MTV on Sunday that he is not a candidate for any ministerial post in the next cabinet.

Commenting on the Phalange party’s initiative to negotiate with Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati, Gemayel said this step prevented the March 8 coalition from being able to claim that March 14 rejected its offer to have the blocking third.

“All we asked for is to be given the blocking third, and the ministerial portfolios that their representatives had. They can take the ministerial portfolios our representatives had in the previous cabinet.” He said

“If March 8 wants to form a one-sided cabinet, then it must… reject our conditions for joining the cabinet.” Gemayel said

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 .

Nagib Mikati, who was backed by Hezbollah and its March 8 allies including MPs Walid 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 .