Hariri , Geagea stress unity over cabinet issue


geagea - haririFormer Lebanese PM and Future Movement leader MP Saad Hariri and Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea stressed during a phone call that the March 14 coalition will have a unified stance regarding the cabinet formation, National News Agency reported on Tuesday.

“The two officials stressed during the phone call on the unity of March 14, notably on the ministerial issue,” NNA said.

Geagea on Monday reiterated his opposition to the 24-minister cabinet proposal that calls for the rival March 8 and 14 alliances to join together in a government despite press reports indicating that the Future Movement, favors the proposed formula currently under discussion for cabinet formation

Intensified efforts to form a cabinet are continuing as March 14 leaders said that the alliance was still debating the recently proposed 24-minister cabinet based on 8-8-8 formula championed by Speaker Nabih Berri and Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblatt that would give eight ministers each to the March 8 and 14 alliances as well as centrists.

The March 14 alliance had allegedly agreed to formula, but it is awaiting answers to inquiries it raised about its ministerial statement, the rotation of power, Hezbollah’s fighting in Syria, and a number of other issues.

Amid Lebanon’s nine-month deadlock over the formation of a cabinet, President Michel Suleiman threatened on Friday that he would form a cabinet on January 20 if the feuding political parties were unable to reach an agreement on a unity cabinet.

March 14 leaders vowed in the past not to join any government with Hezbollah as long as the party’s fighters were engaged in battles alongside the forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad regime in against the rebels who are trying to topple the 40 year old dictatorship.