A new node emerged in the designation of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri to lead the new government, with the insistence of the head of the Free Patriotic Movement MP Gebran Bassil to meet with Hariri, while the latter rejects such encounter.
The former premier justified his position, saying that he already met with President Michel Aoun and Speaker Nabih Berri and sent a delegation from his parliamentary bloc to meet with the heads of the different political parties.
Despite Aoun’s announcement that the new government would be formed within the next few days, sources close to the presidency told Asharq Al-Awsat that no progress has been achieved in the past few hours.
The sources pointed to contacts held away from the spotlight and the possibility to postpone for the second time the binding parliamentary consultations, which were scheduled on Thursday.
In this context, a member of Hariri’s Al-Mustaqbal party, former MP Mustafa Alloush, told Asharq Al-Awsat that Aoun has delayed the consultations upon a request by Bassil, who insisted on meeting with Hariri.
But the latter insists that such an encounter “is unlikely and will not happen,” according to Alloush.
Deputy Speaker of Parliament, MP Elie Ferzli, said there was no alternative to Hariri to form the government at this stage, stressing that he was the only candidate and enjoyed local, French, and American support.
During a meeting on Friday with Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Arancha Gonzales Laya, Aoun said: “The formation of the government will take place in the coming days after the Lebanese parties reach a consensus on it.”
He also stressed the importance to adopt the required reforms to overcome the difficult economic conditions in the country.