Change and Reform bloc leader MP Michel Aoun said Tuesday that President Michel Suleiman has no right to shares in the cabinet Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati is currently working to form.
“Our [cabinet representation] rights were stolen in 2008 and 2009. [Suleiman] took four key portfolios [in previous cabinets]. This will not happen from now on,” Aoun also said.
Suleiman has “turned out not to be a consensus president” and is “aiming to have a political role,” Aoun said, adding that if the president wants to get involved in politics, he ought to form his own political party.
“There is no statement [in the constitution] granting him the right to ministries,” Aoun told the press following his bloc meeting in Rabieh.
“[Suleiman] is not allowed to use his powers when he is ruling. He cannot use his powers and [still] say that he is a consensus [president].”
The assignment of specific ministries should be discussed after parliamentary blocs have been granted numbers of cabinet seats in proportion to their size, he stated, adding that he still trusts Mikati.
“If I have the right to the [Interior] Ministry, I will take it.”
Mikati was appointed to the premiership on January 25 with the Hezbollah-led March 8 coalition’s backing and has called on all parties to join his cabinet.
Talks on cabinet formation are reportedly being obstructed by Aoun’s demand for the Interior Ministry, which is currently held by Minister Ziad Baroud – a member of Sleiman’s cabinet bloc. Other March 8 parties reportedly also oppose Aoun’s demand.
On February 17, Aoun said that he considers Sleiman a “political adversary.”