File - Prime Minister designate Tammam Salam speaks during a press conference at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, Thursday, April 11, 2013. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra)
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If minor differences over some portfolios are resolved, Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam is expected to announce a national unity Cabinet Friday following a compromise between the Future Movement and the Free Patriotic Movement over the Energy Ministry, political sources said Thursday.Under the compromise, Bassil, who has insisted on retaining the Energy portfolio, will be allotted the Foreign Ministry, while Tashnag MP Arthur Nazarian will replace Bassil as energy minister, a political source told The Daily Star.Bassil will also double as acting energy minister, the source said. Nazarian belongs to the parliamentary Change and Reform bloc, whose leader MP Michel Aoun was adamant on retaining the Energy portfolio for Bassil, his son-in-law. Under Salam's proposed 8-8-8 Cabinet lineup, which is based on the rotation of ministerial portfolios among sects and parties, the Future Movement MP Samir Jisr will be allotted the Interior Ministry, while the Defense portfolio will go to caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Samir Moqbel, the source said. It was not immediately known what ministerial portfolios Hezbollah would get in the new Cabinet.The FPM leader has repeatedly rejected the principle of rotating ministerial portfolios, arguing that it is unconstitutional and aims solely at stripping his party of the Energy Ministry, currently held by Bassil.
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