In an effort to resolve the impasse over the cabinet formation , President Michel Suleiman reportedly suggested Army Commander General Jean Kahwaji as a candidate for the ministry of Interior, As Safir newspaper reported on Thursday.
The paper added that Suleiman’s proposal came as a response to the suggestion by Kahwaji to appoint General Paul Matar to the position.
The paper indicated that Suleiman’s proposal was made during the past 48 hours and was presented to PM designate Nagib Mikati, Hezbolah, and Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun.
Parliamentary circles told An Nahar in remarks published on Thursday that the meeting between Aoun and Speaker Nabih Berri on Wednesday was aimed at easing the tensions between the two sides in light or reports of disputes between them.
Suleiman’s suggestion was immediately rejected by the The National Bloc Party on Thursday which stated in a statement that was issued after its executive committee’s weekly meeting that it rejects any role for the military in political life” .
“We reject any role for military figures in the political life, as it is neither desired nor preferred that the army commander make any political initiatives, especially regarding the formation of cabinets. We also reject that any military figure assume a ministerial post.” The statement said
The National Bloc Party is part of March 14 alliance , which has refused to participate in the cabinet of the majority
Aoun mourned the death of all efforts to resolve the obstacles for government formation and accused PM designate Nagib Mikati and president Michel Suleiman of siding with the former majority , in reference to March 14 alliance.
In an interview with his own TV station OTV on Wednesday evening Aoun mourned the death of all efforts to resolve the obstacles for government formation and accused the PM designate and the president of siding with the former majority , in reference to March 14 alliance and held them completely responsible for the failure of the efforts to form a government.
Central News Agency reported on Thursday that Aoun submitted to Mikati the names of two candidates for the interior ministry portfolio, the first is a current minister and the second is a retired army officer. As part of the deal, FPM would also get the energy, justice and economy portfolios, NNA reported
Mikati sources responded to Aoun’s interview with OTV by saying: “Every person has the right to say whatever he sees fit and we don’t have any negative or positive comments.”
Speaker Nabih Berri on Thursday met with Mikati at the former’s residence in Ain al-Tineh, National News Agency ( NNA) reported and said they discussed the latest developments concerning the cabinet formation, the report added.
MTV reported that Berri asked Mikati to put on hold his decision to form a “de facto” government for the time being.
Lebanese Forces bloc MP Antoine Zahra said on Thursday that foreign factors are delaying the cabinet’s formation.
March 8 is working to void the state’s role so as to control Lebanon, but regional developments have forced them to wait, Zahra told As-Sharq radio.
Any party participating in the cabinet can make demands, but it is not appropriate to insist on them at the expense of the formation of a government, he added in a reference to Aoun’s demands.
Phalange party bloc MP Fadi Haber on Thursday told Voice of Lebanon that Lebanon is in a coma, adding that an initiative to form the cabinet should be taken.
“If we were looking for a solution, we should unite all the Lebanese people in order to form a national-salvation cabinet,” he said
Haber rejected forming a technocratic cabinet, arguing that one would not be appropriate since Lebanon is now passing through a political crisis.
Haber added that the cabinet-formation process is dependent on Syria, which currently has other pressing priorities
Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt told al-Liwa newspaper in remarks published on Thursday that the efforts to form a new government in Lebanon “have reached a dead end.”
He said : “The dead end has been caused by the futile demands made by some members of the new majority.” In a possible reference to Aoun
“Ending the current crisis requires some of sides of the opposition and new majority to commit serious mass suicide,” he said.
He said that the suicide would be “the sacrifice of the self for the sake of the masses.”