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It appears that President Michel Suleiman has lost the battle for the ministry of Interior . Al-Akhbar newspaper which is closely linked to Hezbollah reported that the president is ready to give up on his demand for the interior ministry portfolio provided it is allocated to a neutral figure.

Al-Akhbar quoted informed sources as saying that Suleiman called PM Designate Nagib Mikati on Wednesday to inform him about his new stance.

The only “so called” neutral parties that will be represented in the new cabinet are : Mikati, Suleiman and MP Walid Jumblatt. If Suleiman is out then either Jumblatt or Mkati will be awarded the interior ministry.

The dispute between and Free patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun and the president over the ministry of interior has reportedly been the main reason behind the delay in the cabinet formation . Suleiman’s conditional offer means that Aoun also lost the battle.

Technocrats

Ya Libnan reported yesterday that Mikati has 2 cabinet lineups in his pocket : The First list includes politicians and technocrats and the 2nd is technocratic only .

But Amal Movement MP Michel Moussa said on Thursday that it is unlikely a cabinet of technocrats would be granted the parliament’s vote of confidence.

“What is being asked for is the formation of a cabinet made up of a political party to deal with the different political issues in the country,” he told Voice of Lebanon radio, adding that it is clear the cabinet will include politicians as well as technocrats.

Similarly Free patriotic Movement MP Alain Aoun told Voice of Lebanon on Thursday that his party wants a cabinet of politicians as opposed to a technocratic one adding that most of the blocs in March 8 alliance will not approve a cabinet of technocrats . Aoun also said that ” it would be for the best if the Interior Ministry portfolio is granted to FPM bloc”

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