The result of the sixth meeting between President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati, shows “as if no previous meetings were held.”
Officials who follow up on the writing process say that, stressing that “despite all the stories about positive developments and data on which to build, we are still going around in a vicious circle.”
Returning to the zero point is the conclusion that the follow-up officials come out with “after it became clear that the conditions set since the days of Saad Hariri’s assignment have not changed, but Mikati will not wait for nine months, but rather it is a matter of a few weeks at the latest, before he quits the assignment.”
The decisive language used by these officials is contradicted by other data. However, they assert that the presidency team “is still committed to the ministries of interior and justice, which it considers its right, while Mikati also insists that the interior should be part of his share, vowing not to name a provocative figure for any political group.”
In addition, Aoun vetoed the Director of Financial Operations of the Banque du Liban, Youssef Khalil, assuming the Ministry of Finance, and demanding the head of the Progressive Socialist Party, Walid Jumblatt, to obtain the Social Affairs portfolio, and not agreeing on how to distribute the service portfolios… The combination of these conditions leads to There is great pessimism in the process, and what is currently taking place are the last efforts to reach an agreement.”
They assert that “the Amal movement’s refusal to search for an alternative to Youssef Khalil is due to Aoun’s proposal to switch between finance and the interior,” noting that the main reason for insisting on Khalil is the pressure exerted by the Governor of the Banque du Liban, Riad Salameh, to appoint his trusted “man”, and to ensure that the criminal audit in a bank is regulated.
Lebanon and the imposition of political decisions that secure the perpetuation of the interests of the Central Bank party, which is the same reason that prompts Aoun to reject Khalil’s appointment to the Finance Ministry. However, Mikati, after meeting Aoun, denied the information about the switch between the ministries of finance (calculated from the president’s share) and the interior (given to the Amal movement), considering that “if the decision is taken not to rotate portfolios, this will include most portfolios.”
Before Tuesday, there will be no meeting between Aoun and Mikati. What is said in Baabda Palace is that “the squad needs more effort. After a semi-complete formula was reached on Thursday, amendments were made the night before yesterday’s meeting, which mixed things up.” These amendments relate to “the distribution of service portfolios, and the Amal movement insisted on appointing Youssef Khalil, which President Aoun will not accept.
One of the new government’s primary tasks is to conduct a forensic audit of Banque du Liban’s accounts. Khalil is a director at the Central Bank and may be subject to this audit, so how can he be appointed as Minister of Finance and supervise the audit of his previous work? As for the distribution of “essential” portfolios, specifically the dispute over the interior-justice-financial triangle, Baabda sources say that “in principle, everything old will remain intact.
No definitive answer was given in this regard, because the composition stumbled because of the other portfolios , and the distribution of some of them must be reconsidered. If this is done, the names will be dropped on the portfolios within hours.” On the other hand, the sources of the designated chief deny to Al-Akhbar that an agreement has been reached on the “essential” portfolios, or that Aoun has stopped demanding the interior portfolio.