BEIRUT: Lebanese Forces head Samir Geagea said Friday the so-called fait accompli government was constitutional because both the president and the PM-designate enjoy majority support, criticizing Cabinet models proposed by the March 8 coalition.
“The president received 118 out of 128 votes and the prime minister-designate won 124 out of 128, therefore, any government to be formed [by the two] is constitutional, legitimate and in line with [the national] covenant,” Geagea said during a televised news conference.
“It should not be called a fait accompli government, as many do,” he added.
“In fact, the only de facto institution in the country is Hezbollah’s Shura and Jihad councils which make decisions without permission and on our behalf,” Geagea said.
The LF leader also cited Articles 53 and 64 of the Lebanese Constitution governing the formation of a new Cabinet which stipulates that the president must sign a decree for the new government put together by the PM-designate, and that the Parliament decides whether or not to give the lineup a vote of confidence.
The March 8 group warned Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam against forming a fait accompli government, demanding an all-encompassing one in which each party is represented according to parliamentary weight.
Geagea also rejected the stance and said the Parliament represents the country’s various parties but has produced very little to better the lives of the people.
“The talk about representing blocs based on their parliamentary weight is constitutional heresy,” he said. “Where in the Constitution does it say such a thing?"
“The truth is that the other coalition is looking out for its interests in the Cabinet and does not seek to improve the current situation in the country,” Geagea said.
Salam has been struggling to form a new Cabinet since his appointment in April because of the conditions and counter conditions set by the rival coalitions.
The PM-designate has been adamant about forming a government where each coalition and the centrist politicians, which includes him, appoint eight ministers, but Hezbollah has rejected such a proposal, saying Salam is considered an ally to the March 14 coalition which would give the latter more than eight ministerial portfolios.
He also criticized what he said was the Free Patriotic Movement’s insistence on maintaining a grip on some ministries particularly the Energy Ministry which Geagea said had failed to make progress.
“The March 8 group is not a party that seeks state-building but a military one, this is what they actually claim to be,” Geagea said.
He lashed out at the Hezbollah-lead alliance and said they were focused on military involvement in Syria.
“How can the March 8 group be in a government and provide security, stability and better living conditions at a time when its direct involvement in Syria has plunged the country into crisis?” Geagea added.
Geagea reiterated the March 14 coalition’s demand for a government of nonpartisan, technocratic ministers who could be able to improve the socioeconomic conditions until major countries in the region come to a deal.
“No government can be formed unless the March 14 and the March 8 are out of it,” he said.
“A government of known figures ... until the time comes when major solutions are reached in the region,” Geagea added.