BEIRUT: President Michel Sleiman said the personal interests of politicians contribute to the current stalemate in the process of forming a new government.
“Looking at issues from the perspective of personal interests without taking into consideration the national interest whether in terms of security, politics or government formation contributes to obstructing several things and maintaining a stalemate,” Sleiman was quoted by his office as saying.
He stressed the importance of working to revitalize the constitutional institutions to meet the coming phase of negotiations in accordance with to the Constitution and democratic practices.
The country has witnessed a political deadlock preventing Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam from forming a new government as rival groups place conditions on the future Cabinet lineup.
While the March 8 group, and particularly Hezbollah, demands a national unity Cabinet with political representation, the March 14 coalition rejects such a proposal, urging Salam to form a neutral government with non-partisan ministers.
The paralysis has also hit Parliament as it has not been able to convene on several occasions given opposition from some lawmakers within the March 14 coalition.
In the absence of a functioning government and with the current political standoff, speculation has been raised on whether Sleiman’s term which expires in April of next year would be extended.
Sleiman, however, has said he would challenge his own extension, arguing that lawmakers should attend a Parliament session and vote to elect a new president.