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The Daily Star
FRIDAY, 18 APR 2014
03:21 AM Beirut time
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Berri still favors 9-9-6 formula
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BEIRUT: Visitors of Speaker Nabih Berri quoted him Wednesday as saying that he still favors a 9-9-6 government in which both the March 8 and March 14 parties enjoy veto power.

“The 9-9-6 Cabinet formula is still the most reasonable and acceptable one,” Berri’s visitors, who met the speaker at his Ain al-Tineh residence, quoted him as saying.

He also said “no one should think of [taking] any venture in the country,” in an apparent reference to the possibility of forming a fait accompli Cabinet.

Lebanon’s Cabinet formation has been at a stalemate for over eight months due to differences between the country’s political rivals.

The 9-9-6 Cabinet formula, proposed by the Hezbollah-led March 8 alliance, calls for allotting nine ministerial posts to each of the March 8 and March 14 camps, whereas the remaining six portfolios would be those of the centrists’.

The centrists refer to President Michel Sleiman, Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam and MP Walid Jumblatt.

This formula has been rejected by the Future Movement who calls instead for a neutral, nonpartisan government.

Berri also met with an envoy from Jumblatt, caretaker Social Affairs Minister Wael Abu Faour, for talks over the general developments.

Abu Faour said that “politicians should have a clear roadmap to confront the successive crises in the country,” citing constitutional, security, political and economic crises.

“The political forces should sit together whether on a Dialogue table or in a Cabinet to address the upcoming presidential elections,” he said.

He also stressed that the next presidential elections, due in May 2014, should be held on time.

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