Free patriotic Movement MP Michel Aoun denied being the obstacle behind the delay in the formation of the Lebanese cabinet stressing that there are no valid reasons behind the delay.
Following the meeting of the Change and Reform bloc he told reporters that he has nothing new to report on the cabinet formation but added :
” I do not see that there is an intention to form a cabinet. There are no reasons not form a cabinet, and it is unacceptable to claim there are complications being caused by certain parliamentary blocs.”
Aoun denied being the obstacle :
“The complication is not caused by me. My bloc is the biggest in the new majority. I want the Interior Ministry portfolio. Do I not have the right to attain a sovereign ministry?” He asked
Aoun tried to justify his demands:
“Every big parliamentary bloc has the right to attain a ministerial portfolio. ”
Aoun tried to blame PM designate Nagib Mikati for the delay :
“Whoever waits for the results of regional developments to become crystal clear does not want to form a cabinet. Whoever does not proceed with the cabinet formation process wants to obstruct the process.”
Aoun responded to the speech of president Michel Suleiman without naming by saying:
“We will not accept the claim that the constitution has been violated. I will respond to anyone who makes such claim no matter who he is.”
Suleiman said on Sunday that the impasse was due to local “demands.”
“There are no foreign obstacles ,” Suleiman told reporters in Bkirki after meeting with Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi. The impasse is due to the “demands of Lebanese parliamentary blocs” and “not obstacles,” he said, in a possible reference to Aoun
“The constitution doesn’t give anyone shares,” Suleiman said in reference to his dispute with Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun over the interior ministry portfolio and the lawmaker’s demand for the lion’s share of the Christian representation in the new government.
Aoun has been attacking president Suleiman ever since Mikati has been trying to form the cabinet .
On February 16 Aoun said he won’t let the president have any portfolio.
” The issue of the president’s share (in cabinet) is a farce that is not subject to any constitutional provisions or the criteria of popular support, and personally I won’t give Suleiman any portfolio as he hasn’t been a consensual president.”
On March 1 Aoun said with reference to president Suleiman’s share in the cabinet :
“Nothing in the constitution determines the shares of the country’s president in the cabinet. The president abides by the law but he does not rule. Granting the president specific cabinet shares is a violation of the constitution.”
Without directly criticizing his allay Speaker Nabih Berri Aoun said:
” There are many projects we are currently studying. It a shame to obstruct the work of the parliament , just because there is no cabinet.”
Lebanon has been run by a caretaker government since last January. Mikati was appointed in January as the PM designate with the backing of the Hezbollah led-March 8 alliance, 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
Mikati has not yet been able to form a cabinet . Aoun’s demand that he should receive a blocking third of cabinet seats, including the Interior Ministry , currently part of President Suleiman’s cabinet share has reportedly been the main reason behind the delay in cabinet formation. Despite his denial of being the obstacle , Aoun reconfirmed today that his demand for the ministry of Interior remains the main reason behind the delay.
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