Lebanon: New Government Could Lack Inclusiveness Status With Jumblatt, Geagea’s Refusal to Join
A ministerial source closely monitoring ongoing contacts to end the government deadlock told Asharq Al-Awsat that although President Michel Aoun could not be accused of violating the Constitution for not calling for binding parliamentary consultations, his stalling in making such a move would further put the country’s economic and political situation at risk.
The source underlined that the Constitution did not include any provision that states that consultations should be held immediately upon the resignation of the prime minister. But it added that in light of the unprecedented financial crisis, Aoun ought to speed up the formation of the new government.
The ministerial source noted that the president had the right to express his point of view regarding the cabinet structure, alike other political parties that have presented their opinion in this regard.
According to the source, the premier-designate was not constitutionally obliged to follow the president’s proposition. He added that caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri was the first to express his point of view and proposed the formation of the government of technocrats for a transitional period in order to cause a positive political shock and meet the demands of the popular movement.
However, Hariri’s proposal was met with objections from the Shiite duo – Amal Movement and Hezbollah – along with a similar position by Aoun, who all agreed on the need for a mixed government of politicians, technocrats and representatives of the popular movement.
The ministerial source stressed that contacts were not interrupted and that channels of communication were still in place, but mostly through intermediaries who work away from the media.
According to the same source, in case a technocrat cabinet could not be formed, a techno-political government should be inclusive in order to gain a political cover. However, such cover might be difficult to guarantee in light of the insistence of PSP Leader Walid Jumblatt and LF Chief Samir Geagea to stay out of any new government formation.
Consequently, the source noted that any techno-political cabinet could be “of one color”, i.e. only representing the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), the Shiite duo and the Democratic Gathering, the PSP’s Druze rival.