Negotiations over formation of a new cabinet have ground to a halt as a dispute over the representation of pro-Hezbollah Sunni MPs continues to grow according to Sunday media reports .
“The setback that stopped the formation drive does not seem to be on the verge of any solution in the near future, at least not before the return of Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri from his private visit to Paris,” sources told al-Hayat newspaper in remarks published Sunday.
The new cabinet was on the verge of formation last Monday after the Lebanese Forces accepted the portfolios that were assigned to it but a last-minute hurdle over the representation of pro-Hezbollah Sunni MPs surfaced.
Hezbollah continues to back its Sunni MPs’ demand and refrained from providing Hariri with the names of its own ministers in a bid to press him to accept giving a seat to the aforementioned Sunni grouping.
Hezbollah MP Nawwaf al-Moussawi issued a velied warning against Hariri’s Future Movemnet accusing it of being stubborn on Sunday for refusing to allow any Hezbollah’s Sunni MP to join the cabinet
We advise al-Mustaqbal Movement against showing “stubbornness” on the issue of representing the so-called opposition Sunni MPs in the new cabinet, he said .
“The results of the parliamentary elections must be respected in the formation of the government. This has been and is still our unchanged stance,” Moussawi said on Sunday.
This is not the first time Hezbollah tries to block the formation of a new cabinet . It has done the same during the formation of the last 4 cabinets and always insisted on having a veto power in every past government to allow it to torpedo it anytime it wishes.
The Iranian backed Hezbollah militant group is the only armed party in Lebanon and has used its arms internally against its rivals whenever things didn’t go its way .
Even Hezbollah’s ally president Michel Aoun in a televised interview, said the obstacles created by his ally are not proper and not justified.
Addressing the demand of the Hezbollah-backed Sunnis, he said: “This matter caused the delay, and this delay is a type of political tactic that is hurting our big strategy.”
Aoun said the Hezbollah-backed Sunnis amounted to “individuals, not a bloc” .
Hariri, Lebanon’s main Sunni leader, has ruled out ceding one of his cabinet seats to the Hezbollah-allied Sunnis.
Aoun said he wanted a strong prime minister, and not to weaken Hariri.
Western-backed Hariri lost more than a third of his seats in the parliamentary election, many of them to the Hezbollah allies.
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