Suleiman rules out formation of cabinet soon, report


President Michel Suleiman is currently meeting with PM Designate Nagib Mikati at Baabda palace to discuss the status of cabinet formation

Earlier reports indicated that Suleiman has ruled out the formation of the cabinet anytime soon, blaming the delay on local and regional obstacles and stressing that as a result of the delay Lebanon has missed investment opportunities.

“Lebanon is missing big economic and investment opportunities over the continued impasse in the formation of the government, particularly at a time of security shakeups in Arab countries,” visitors quoted him as saying

Suleiman is reportedly still hopeful that a unity government of all parties will be formed

As Safir daily quoted Suleiman’s visitors as saying that the cabinet should be formed immediately to “consolidate the country” at a time of turmoil in the region.

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

Mikati was appointed in January as the PM designate with the backing of the Hezbollah March 8 alliance and MPs Walid Jumblatt and Mohammad Safadi following the collapse of Hariri’s unity government. March 14 leaders have repeatedly said that intimidation from Hezbollah’s weapons helped secure the parliamentary majority for Mikati’s nomination.

Jumblatt and his PSP parliament members reportedly switched allegiance to Hezbollah’s PM candidate, following threats by Hezbollah.

Jumblatt, Mikati and Safadi were all elected on March 14 electoral tickets during the 2009 parliamentary elections.

Hezbollah is now claiming the parliament majority