Lebanon News

Salam says still chance for consensus on Cabinet

File - Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam speaks during an interview with Reuters at his home in Beirut April 7, 2013. (REUTERS/ Jamal Saidi)

BEIRUT: Political rivals still have a chance to reach consensus on the formation of a new Cabinet in Lebanon, Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam said in remarks published Friday.

“We will give the rival parties a small chance to seek consensus over a new Cabinet lineup,” Salam told As-Safir newspaper.

Salam said that he was waiting for the return of President Michel Sleiman, who is on a private holiday abroad, and that he is discussing with rival parties the Cabinet formula and whether it can win a vote of confidence in Parliament.

“There are a lot of questions over the nature of the Cabinet and the chances that it wins a vote in Parliament and how the government will rule after the formation,” he said.

“The answers to these questions will become more clear once the president returns from his vacation and in light of the contacts we are holding [with political rivals],” he said.

Sleiman is set to return from his vacation on Saturday.

Salam also said that his cabinet would only be formed to oversee the upcoming presidential election and might play a role in closing the gap between Lebanese rivals over selecting the next head of state.

Salam was appointed in April but has so far been unable to put together a government given conditions and counter-conditions put forward by the rival March 8 and March 14 coalitions.

He has recently warned that he will form a fait accompli Cabinet if the government formation process remains at a stalemate.

Sleiman's term ends in May 2014.





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