Gemayel hails Hariri’s role in cabinet formation


rafik hariri  commemoration 6th gemayelFormer Lebanese president and current Phalange Party leader Amin Gemayel hailed on Sunday the sacrifices made by former PM and Future Movement leader Saad Hariri and his courageous stances that helped the formation of the new government.

He also hailed the efforts exerted by President Michel Suleiman and PM designate Tammam Salam to form the government, describing it as a necessity to restore calm in the country.

But Gemayel warned that the his party will not tolerate attempts to undermine Lebanon”s sovereignty, stressing that Hezbollah will be confronted at the cabinet and not by any other means.

“The Phalange party has been demanding the formation of an all-embracing and capable cabinet,” Gemayel said during a press conference in Bekfaya.

He expressed hope that Salam’s cabinet would be capable of meeting all the constitutional deadlines on time.

“We have been waiting for the formation of this cabinet, which was formed after a long period of sufferings, hope that it would meet the aspirations of the people,” Gemayel said.

Gemayel admitted that he has low expectations.

“This cabinet isn’t expected to make miracles,” Gemayel stressed

However, he expected from Salam’s cabinet to achieve stability.”

“We disagree with Hezbollah but we are not afraid to confront it at the cabinet, the battle should be political and not by the use of arms,” Gemayel added.

Prime Minister Tammam Salam finally announced on Saturday the formation of a 24-minister cabinet, nearly 11 months after his appointment .

Since Salam’s appointment in April last year, efforts to form a government had stumbled over disputes between Hezbollah, whose fighters have been helping the Syrian army crush the revolt, and Hariri’s bloc which backs the Sunni-led uprising.

The formation of the new Lebanese cabinet gained momentum following Hariri’s in which he declared last January that he is now ready to share power with his rivals Hezbollah if that’s what it takes to help Lebanon finally form a government after nine months of political deadlock.

Hariri told Reuters in The Hague , where he was attending the trial in absentia of four Hezbollah members charged with his father’s killing, that he’s not only ready to share power with Hezbollah but is optimistic they can come to an agreement.

“We’re trying to run the country with everyone, because we do not want to keep anyone outside,” he said in an interview on January 16 after attending the opening session of the Special Tribunal For Lebanon.

The new government brings together for the first time in three years Hezbollah and the the Future movement , and the agreed compromise ensures neither side has veto power over the other.

The 24 portfolios are divided eually between three groups ; the Hezbollah led March 8 alliance, The March 14 alliance and the centrist bloc which includes Salam, Suleiman and PSP leader Walid Jumblatt.

Since the Lebanese Forces decided not to join the cabinet, the Phalange party was able to secure three seats in the new cabinet: The ministries of information ( Ramzi Jreij) , labor( Sejaan Azzi ) and economy(Alain Hakim)