Aoun: Neutral government is “unconstitutional”


aoun def 10Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun stated on Tuesday that he is open to a “fair and just” solution over the formation of a new government, saying that it should not be unconstitutional.

He said after the Change and Reform bloc’s weekly meeting: “A neutral government that is being proposed is unconstitutional.”

He therefore called on President Michel Suleiman and Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam to respect the constitution.

“What does a neutral government even mean?” he wondered.

What is the point of the consultations with the president and premier-designate with the parliamentary blocs over the new government if it will be a neutral one? asked Aoun.

Suleiman and Salam’s “privileges do not entitle them to deny the people of their right to vote” and deem who can and cannot run for a ministerial position, continued the FPM leader on demands that members of the new cabinet should not run in the parliamentary elections.

“How can confidence be granted to lawmakers and they are not even aware of several constitutional issues, such as a neutral government. Who will such a cabinet represent?” he wondered.

Aoun then denied media reports that the FPM had rejected keeping Marwan Charbel in the position of interior minister.

Commenting on Tuesday’s meeting of the parliamentary subcommittee, the MP said: “Today’s meeting does not represent parliament, but simply the members of the parties that are taking part in the talks.”

They are discussing parliamentary electoral laws, but not a single member of the subcommittee has made a draft law proposal of their own, he noted.

Some of the members rejected the Orthodox Gathering law, but they did not offer an alternative, he added.

“How can they demand the formation of a government that can oversee the parliamentary elections if they have not yet approved an electoral law?” he asked.

Salam has repeatedly said that his new government will be aimed at staging and overseeing the parliamentary elections.

The political powers have yet however to agree on an electoral law, while a parliamentary subcommittee met on Tuesday to set the stage for the resumption of discussions between rival lawmakers on the draft electoral law.

The premier-designate held a series of consultations last week with parliamentary blocs in order to listen to their proposals over a new cabinet.

The March 8 alliance has demanded the formation of a national unity cabinet, while the March 14 coalition has called for a neutral government whose members will not run in the elections.