BEIRUT: Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam said Thursday he will not give up on efforts to form a new government in Lebanon, despite months with little progress in bringing together rival sides over a Cabinet lineup.
“As long as there is positive cooperation with the president and as long as I feel the support of the people, I will continue to seek government formation,” Salam told reporters after talks with President Michel Sleiman at the Presidential Palace in Baabda.
Salam said he will not hesitate to give up the task of forming a Cabinet if the quest becomes harmful to the country or the people.
Salam suggested that the rival parties were not interested in forming a new government and blamed them for the delay.
"The issue of the formulas and numbers are just details,” he said in response to a question. “Having a serious intent to form a government is what matters."
“Conditions and counter-conditions put by the political forces are preventing the facilitation of the formation process,” he added.
Salam said he is looking into forming a government that “can deal with the delicate and sensitive situation we are living in.”
Since his appointment in April, Salam has been struggling to form a new government in the face of conditions and counter-conditions by rival Lebanese camps.
Wednesday, Hezbollah again rejected a old proposal for a 24-member Cabinet, reiterating its demand for the formation of a government in which all political parties are represented in proportion to their size in Parliament.
The proposal for a 24-member Cabinet equally divided among the March 8 and March 14 parties and centrists – a reference to Sleiman, Salam and MP Walid Jumblatt – was first made by Salam shortly after he was named on April 6 to form a new government.