Consultations on the formation of the new government have dragged on with no end in sight, despite optimism expressed by some politicians.
The two main problems of the Christian and the Druze representation in the cabinet remained unsolved despite meetings held between concerned parties at the Presidential Palace and the Center House in Beirut.
Long-hours of talks between PM-designate Saad Hariri and head of the Lebanese Forces Samir Geagea on Wednesday carried some optimism, but the next day the PM’s sources placed the meeting in the framework of “coordination and talks.”
“Hariri offered several acceptable and possible solutions, however, there are no explanations as to why those solutions were rejected,” the sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.
They added that the PM-designate is waiting for a response from President Michel Aoun.
“If the President accepts Hariri’s latest proposals, then the cabinet formation would be near. However, if he rejects them, the PM-designate will reveal what’s happening and divulge the reasons behind the cabinet formation stalemate,” the sources added.
Reports said caretaker Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil refuses to offer the LF more than three ministers and to limit the Druze representation to the Democratic Gathering bloc of Walid Jumblatt.
On Thursday, the President met with caretaker Information Minister Melhem Riachy, who relayed Geagea’s position vis-à-vis the cabinet formation process.
Riachy said Aoun informed him that the possibility of handing the LF a so-called sovereign portfolio was being discussed with Hariri.
For her part, deputy from Hariri’s Mustaqbal Movement Dima Jamali ruled out the formation of the government anytime soon, lamenting the lack of “real solutions” and ongoing pressure exerted on the PM-designate.
The real problem
According to experts the real problem in forming the cabinet is the same problem that Lebanon faced in electing a president and this problem is called “Hezbollah “, one analyst told Ya Libnan.
According to the analyst the Iranian backed Hezbollah wants to reward the Christian, Sunni and Druze members of the parliament that were elected on its and allied electoral lists . This is why for example Hezbollah wants its ally Talal Arslan to be allocated a ministerial post even though if it was not for Jumblatt , Arslan had absolutely no chance of winning a parliamentary seat. Jumblatt’s list won and allowed Arslan to run unopposed
Similarly Hezbollah is opposed to rewarding its main rival the Lebanese Forces for their victory in the last election …. the LF almost doubled the number of its seats from 8 to 15.
Hezbollah is reportedly not openly showing any significant involvement in blocking the cabinet formation but is acting through its ally president Michel Aoun and his son-in-law Gebran Bassil, the experts claim.
Hezbollah is reportedly concerned that once Aoun is gone Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea will become the most popular Lebanese Christian politician to replace him as a president.
Hezbollah is reportedly doing in Lebanon what Iran is doing in Iraq . Like Lebanon Iraq still does not have a government because Iran would not allow Mouqtada al Sadr who was the biggest winner in
Asharq Al Awsat/YL