Lebanon News

Cabinet formation still at impasse, Salam says

President Michel Sleiman, left, receives Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra)

BEIRUT: A March 8 proposal that would see the majority of seats in the next government shared by the country’s rival coalitions has failed to end the deadlock in the Cabinet formation process, Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam said in comments published Tuesday.

“Everyone raises ideas. This is not new. However, the Cabinet lineup is still stalled," Salam told Al-Akhbar daily, referring to the 9-9-6 Cabinet proposal which would give veto power to the March 8 and March 14 camps.

Five months into his mission, Salam has yet to make any progress in the formation of his Cabinet due to conditions and counter-conditions put forward by the country’s two main rival political alliances.

Sources close to Salam and the Future Movement, which heads the opposition, told The Daily Star that the two sides oppose the 9-9-6 proposal, which the Hezbollah-led March 8 has been pressing for.

“[There is] no progress, and that’s why I didn’t make any statement at Baabda Palace,” Salam said of his regular meeting with President Michel Sleiman Monday.

“Everyone raises ideas. This is not new,” Salam added. “However, the Cabinet lineup is still stalled" five months after his April 6 appointment to form a new government.

“There is no settlement to the issue and the obstacles have not been removed,” he said.

Nevertheless, Salam was determined to carry on with his mandate.

“I’m still undertaking efforts ceaselessly,” he said. “All the people know that the problem is not me but with those who put obstacles.”

“Everyone also knows how much the president [Sleiman] and I are putting up with as a result of the delay in the government formation.”





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