CNA: Cabinet formation postponed until after STL indictment


Well-informed diplomatic sources to Central News Agency (CNA ) that the announcement of Cabinet formation has been postponed until after the indictment by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) is issued.

This follows the recommendation of the European Union who advised Mikati to wait until after the STL indictment before forming the Cabinet, as reported by Central News Agency last week

CNA said political leaders who have just returned from Europe quoted European officials as saying that there are two key considerations to take into account before a Cabinet formation:

1- To ease Sunni tension in the streets so that a government is formed in a calm atmosphere.

2- To learn the content of the indictment and its implications at the domestic level in order to shape the new government in light of what the new political scene may produce.

They said the indictment will be issued during February or early in March.

“The indictment is going to cause an earthquake in Lebanon,” one Western official was quoted as saying. He refused, however, to reveal contents of the indictment.

The Iranian- and Syria-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.