BEIRUT: Former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora reiterated Friday the call for a nonpartisan government that would exclude all major political groups. He also dismissed accusations that the Future Movement is obstructing the Cabinet formation process.
“I suggest the formation of Cabinet of nonpartisan ministers who have long experience in politics or other fields, and who can form a productive team that can work together for the benefit of the state,” Siniora said while touring development projects in the southern city of Sidon.
Siniora, the head of the parliamentary Future bloc, said that forming a Cabinet that includes representatives of rival political parties would be “a burden on the sate in light of the challenges we are witnessing.”
The former PM also dismissed accusations that the Future Movement was responsible for impeding the Cabinet formation.
“We are against obstructing the legislative activity and the Cabinet formation,” he said.
Hezbollah’s deputy speaker Naim Qassem had said Thursday that the March 14 coalition is following orders of a Gulf state and obstructing the formation of the new Cabinet.
Siniora also said that his group is ready to engage in talks with Speaker Nabih Berri and other groups to agree on urgent items that should be addressed in Parliament.
“We extend our hand to Speaker Berri and everyone to agree on specific items that are rally necessary and urgent to agree on [attending Parliament sessions],” he said.
Lebanon’s Parliament has failed to convene for several times since July for lack of quorum. The majority of groups boycotting the sessions, including the Future Movement, argue that they want the Cabinet agenda set by Berri adjusted.
Meanwhile, Cardinal Beshara Rai said Friday upon his return to Lebanon from Qatar that Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam should not withdraw from his task to form a new Cabinet
“A possible decision by Salam to give up his task to form the Cabinet would be shameful for all the lawmakers who unanimously nominated him,” he said.
He also said that the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections should be held on time and urged the formation of the new Cabinet.