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Disagreements, Regional Tension Hinder Lebanon’s Cabinet Formation

Disagreements, Regional Tension Hinder Lebanon’s Cabinet Formation

Wednesday, 8 January, 2020 - 09:15
President Michel Aoun met with Prime Minister-designate Hassan Diab on Tuesday. NNA

President Michel Aoun met on Tuesday with Prime Minister-designate Hassan Diab to discuss obstacles hindering the formation of a new government.


While Diab left the Baabda Palace without making comments to the press, the presidential office issued a statement saying the two officials discussed local developments and recent consultations on the cabinet formation.

 

Sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that Aoun and Diab had different viewpoints about the Christian quota, specifically the ministers from the president’s share. The sources highlighted “vetoes” imposed by the caretaker foreign minister, MP Gebran Bassil, on some of the names purportedly proposed by the premier-designate.

 

The government formation is facing further complications, as the Shiite duo – represented by Amal Movement and Hezbollah – prefer not to rush the formation process, pending a clearer regional situation in the wake of the assassination of Iranian Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani.

 

However, sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that Hezbollah and Amal would not hinder any formation process and have submitted to the prime minister-designate the names of the Shiite ministers.

 

LBCI TV channel said there were fears that a government of technocrats would not be able to confront threats facing Lebanon following Soleimani’s killing, adding that a national unity government must be formed to include the Lebanese Forces, al-Mustaqbal Movement and the Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) under caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

 

Hariri’s al-Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc warned against the formation of a “one-sided” government.


In a statement following its meeting on Tuesday, the bloc rejected provocative ministers with controversial stances, in reference to pro-Syria and pro-Iran figures.


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