File - Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, right, receives Prime Minister designate Tammam Salam in Beirut, Monday, June 24, 2013. (The Daily Star/Lebanese Parliament Website, HO)
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Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam looks set to announce early this week an all-embracing Cabinet after MP Michel Aoun's rejection of his eleventh-hour offer to reserve two key ministerial portfolios to the Free Patriotic Movement in exchange for abandoning the Energy Ministry, a senior political source said Sunday.Despite rejection, a source close to the FPM said Aoun would make a counterproposal to Salam soon.The concept of rotating ministerial portfolios was part of an 8-8-8 Cabinet deal reached by the Hezbollah-led March 8 alliance, the Future Movement and MP Walid Jumblatt.If Salam goes ahead with forming an all-embracing political government based on an 8-8-8 lineup without the approval of Aoun, this risks the possibility of the FPM leader withdrawing his ministers from the Cabinet. Salam spoke Saturday by phone with Aoun, who had complained that the premier-designate did not consult with him on the Cabinet formation efforts.Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai criticized politicians who insist on retaining certain ministerial portfolios.
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