BEIRUT: Hezbollah accused Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam Sunday of ignoring the parliamentary majority by upholding his proposal for a 24-member Cabinet lineup equally divided between the March 8 coalition, March 14 alliance and centrists.
The remarks by Hezbollah MP Ali Fayyad are bound to further complicate the already complex Cabinet crisis, dashing hopes for the formation of a new government soon.
“The prime minister-designate’s insistence on the 8-8-8 Cabinet formula, following MP Walid Jumblatt’s opposition to it, ran contrary to the opinion of the parliamentary majority,” Fayyad told a memorial ceremony in south Lebanon.
“This contradicts the philosophy of [Salam’s] designation by the majority which means a disregard of the two decisive criteria in designation: consensus and the majority,” he added.
There was no immediate comment from Salam on Fayyad’s accusation.
Faced with conflicting conditions set by the March 8 and March 14 parties over the makeup of the government, Salam has suggested an 8-8-8 Cabinet lineup equally shared by the rival factions and centrists. The centrists refer to President Michel Sleiman, Salam and Jumblatt.
The Hezbollah-led March 8 alliance has rejected Salam’s 8-8-8 Cabinet formula, which denies them veto power and calls for the rotation of key portfolios among parliamentary blocs. Instead, it is pressing a 9-9-6 proposal.
Fayyad also reiterated his party’s accusation that March 14 was obstructing the formation of a new government.
“In Lebanon, it has become clear that there is a decision not to form a government and to close the doors to dialogue,” he said.
“The Lebanese public should know the facts ... that the March 14 team, with its regional alliances, bears actual responsibility for the failure to form a government, the closure of windows of dialogue and consequently, the closure of windows of a solution.”
However, March 14 MP Butros Harb blamed Hezbollah for the deadlock.
“The March 8 team no longer believes in the current formula of the Lebanese system. Hezbollah is obstructing the Cabinet formation with the force of arms, threatening to undermine stability,” Harb said in an interview to be published by Al-Liwaa newspaper Monday.
He accused Hezbollah of preventing Sleiman and Salam from exercising their constitutional powers in forming a new Cabinet.