BEIRUT: A new neutral government that would be announced next week and that aims to exclude Hezbollah would face a no-confidence vote, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said.
“If this government is formed, as they say, from neutral and non-partisan [figures], the aim and the outcome of this action will be to exclude Hezbollah from the government and nothing else,” Berri said in remarks published Thursday.
But Berri warned that such a Cabinet would soon be toppled.
“A decree on the formation of this government will be issued on Jan. 7 or 8 as they say,” pan-Arab newspaper Al-Hayat quoted Berri as telling visitors.
“Then [the government] will take time to draft the ministerial statement, after which it will be passed to Parliament to discuss and approve it,” he added.
“[Such a] government will fail and will not get a vote of confidence in Parliament,” Berri warned.
He said lawmakers from his Liberation and Development parliamentary bloc as well as from MP Walid Jumblatt’s bloc will not give a confidence vote to the new government.
President Michel Sleiman has agreed with Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam to seek the formation of a 14-member neutral Cabinet before Jan. 25, political sources told The Daily Star Monday.
The move is likely to throw the country into further turmoil given that the Hezbollah-led March 8 coalition strongly opposes such a government, proposing instead a 9-9-6 Cabinet formula representing the political parties in the country.