Deal reached on new Lebanon cabinet, report


Lebanon Files website quoted March 8 sources as saying that a deal was struck on a new Lebanon cabinet as follows:

The cabinet will have 30 portfolios

Change and reform block of MP Michel Aoun: 10 portfolios

Hezbollah, Amal, SSNP , Talal Arslan: 9 portfolios

President Suleiman , PM designate Nagib Mikati and MP Walid Jumblatt : 11 portfolios

The discussions now are revolving around the names of the ministers .

The ministry of interior will be included in the share of president Suleiman . It appears that Aoun lost this battle . It also appears that the centrist block which is headed by President Suleiman has a blocking third .

Beirut analysts are questioning why Jumblatt is included in the the centrist blocs , specially since he has been openly talking about being a member of the March 8 alliance.

On Sunday Jumblatt revealed that his PSP engineers voted along with Hezbollah, Amal and Free patriotic Movement for the March 8 candidates in the engineering syndicate elections of Beirut . He reportedly even sent PSP MP Wael Abou Faour to Hezbollah and Aoun to thank them for their cooperation during the syndicate elections.

The The Iranian and Syrian -backed Hezbollah brought down PM Saad 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 . 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.