BEIRUT: Speaker Nabih Berri tasked a delegation of MPs Wednesday to put forward his new political initiative that proposes a road map aimed at ending the country’s five-month political deadlock.
“To confirm what I previously announced ... about a roadmap for dialogue between Lebanese that would restore hope among them and move forward instead of the paralysis we are slipping toward, the Development and Liberation bloc tasked a delegation of MPs to launch contacts,” Berri said, according to the National News Agency.
His remarks came during his weekly meeting with his bloc’s lawmakers at his residence in Ain el-Tineh.
Delegations of MPs are scheduled to visit President Michel Sleiman, caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati, Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam and the parliamentary blocs to explain the initiative.
Visiting MPs said Berri was dismayed that some rival politicians were already criticizing his initiative.
Last month, Berri proposed a five-day conclave for dialogue attended by March 8 and March 14 leaders in addition to Salam to address divisive issues including the makeup and the policy statement of a new Cabinet, a national defense strategy, means to end Lebanese intervention in Syria and talks on a new electoral law.
Future Movement, however, criticized the speaker’s proposal, saying the National Dialogue sessions should reconvene to merely discuss Hezbollah’s arsenal as a new government is formed.
The prime minister-designate has been struggling for five months to form a new government given conditions and counter-conditions put forward by rival groups.
The Future Movement and its allies demand a Cabinet of nonpartisan ministers while Hezbollah and its allies argue in favor of a government where each party is represented based on its parliamentary size.
Earlier Wednesday, Future MP Ahmad Fatfat said Berri's proposal is a political maneuver to adjust the entire political system through discussing the Cabinet formation at the National Dialogue table.
During an interview with a local radio, Fatfat said that the Cabinet formation was a constitutional matter in the exclusive hands of the president and prime minister-designate and not an issue to be discussed during the all-party talks.