Salam blames FPM for obstructing cabinet formation


Tammam salam def 1Like his 3 predecessors Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam blamed the Free Patriotic Movement for hindering the formation of the upcoming cabinet, according to a report by An-Nahar newspaper.

“ There is one party that wants to obstruct an agreement over the cabinet formation . Where is the logic in that?” Salam told his visitors in an implicit reference to Caretaker Energy Minister Gebran Bassil, FPM leader MP Michel Aoun’s son-in-law.

“Should we stand in the face of the country’s interests to serve the demands and wishes related to one specific person and one specific ministerial portfolio?” he asked in reference to the energy ministry

Salam also told his visitors that he was still waiting for an answer from Hezbollah and its allies over the cabinet formation after the deadline they asked for to deliberate on the distribution of portfolios.

“The cabinet formation is not a promenade, an emotional release or a waste of time amid this difficult situation… it requires all political parties to deploy a great effort and have a sense of responsibility,” Salam said, according to his visitors.

Meanwhile, a source close to the FPM accused Salam of obstructing the cabinet formation.

“The PM-designate caused this crisis after he proposed the rotation of portfolios, and is now insisting on it,” the source told As-Safir newspaper.

The unnamed source also said that Salam refused to discuss the details of the cabinet formation with the FPM, or to propose new portfolios for the FPM ministers.

“It is required that Salam abandon the idea of rotation of ministerial portfolios and not that Aoun accept it, especially that insisting on it clearly aims at targeting the FPM,” the source added.

On Sunday Caretaker Energy Minister Gebran Bassil refused to let go of his current caretaker position in the cabinet and criticized the suggested form of cabinet rotation, and said that to deny him the oil portfolio would be unfair since he represents the Christians in this position .

All three prime ministers that preceded Salam starting with Fouad Siniora, Saad Hairi and Nagib Mikati experienced similar problems with FPM and Aoun according tom observers.

Lebanon’s PM Designate Tammam Salam has been attempting to form a new government that would bring together the rival March 14 and March 8 alliances for nearly 10 months .

Former PM and Future Movement leader MP Saad Hariri, whose party has the largest parliamentary bloc in the cabinet and who is considered a pillar in the pro-Western March 14 coalition, stated earlier in the week that he is putting aside his personal differences with Hezbollah in an effort to form a national-partnership cabinet that can safeguard the country.

The FPM leader has reportedly been stalling the formation of an all-embracing 24-member government for claiming that the country’s top leaders did not consult him when they struck a deal on the 8-8-8 formula and the rotation of portfolios among sects.