Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
FRIDAY, 18 APR 2014
09:30 PM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
22 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
Lebanon News
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Bassil: Keeping Energy Ministry strategic for Christians
File - Caretaker Energy Minister Gebran Bassil speaks during a press conference in Beirut, Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
File - Caretaker Energy Minister Gebran Bassil speaks during a press conference in Beirut, Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
A+ A-

BEIRUT: Caretaker Energy Minister Gebran Bassil stood firm Sunday on his party’s opposition to rotating ministerial portfolios based on party and sect in the next Cabinet, arguing that it would deprive Christians in Lebanon from heading one of the country’s primary ministries.

During a televised news conference, Bassil also said the Energy Ministry should be entrusted to Christians given that it restored their role and ensured their presence in the country.

“We should reduce the difficulties in forming a new Cabinet such as the agreement to postpone discussion on the government’s policy statement rather than adding more obstacles such as the rotation of ministerial portfolios,” Bassil said.

“The principle of rotating ministerial portfolios is a sound policy if it is adopted by consensus and consultations ... [and] at the beginning of a new Parliament or presidential term,” he added.

The Future Movement has said that one of its conditions to joining a new government with Hezbollah is the rotation of ministerial portfolios based on party and sect.

Hezbollah has so far failed to convince its ally former Gen. Michel Aoun, who heads the Free Patriotic Movement, into compromising over the matter.

Bassil, Aoun’s son-in-law, argued that the policy of rotating ministerial portfolios in a government with a short life would be deleterious to the work of sate institutions and ministries in the country.

He also doubted the intentions of the Future Movement, which heads the March 14 coalition, claiming there were attempts to exclude Christians under the guise of rotating ministerial portfolios.

“If there were good intensions, the rotation would have been based on consensus and included all ministerial posts but the intentions aim at excluding not only a person or a political movement but also an entire sect,” he said.

He also spoke about an agreement between Hezbollah and the Future Movement to form a new government, saying any compromise should not be at the expense of Christians.

Bassil also said the rotation of posts in Cabinet targeted the FPM’s achievements at the Energy Ministry which he said would reflect negatively on the entire oil sector.

The Energy Ministry, Bassil argued, was the guarantor of security and financial stability in Lebanon.

“It is strategic for Lebanon and Christians because it entails international relations stolen from the Christians 25 years ago. It also includes a balanced development that was absent from Christian [areas] for 25 years,” Bassil added.

“Therefore, it is a primary ministry par excellence and should not be a target of exclusion and it is the right of this sect [Christians] to be trusted with Lebanon's oil for an interim period,” he added.

Bassil said Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam was allocating ministries in a manner that addressed the needs and concerns of certain sects, excluding Christians.

“Is it acceptable to allocate the Interior Ministry to a sect in order to reassure it, allocate the Finance Ministry to a specific sect to compensate for it or allocate the Defense Ministry to [a party] to protect a grant for the Army?” he asked, referring to a Saudi grant to the military.

“The issue is now bigger than forming a government but it is concerned with constitutionality and trust, which if breached would require not only a new social contract but a whole new nation,” he said.

"Deviating from the National Covenant will lead to Sunni-Shiite strife and a conflict between Muslims and Christians in the events Muslims fail to correct this deviation,” Bassil said.

He also accused Salam of making unilateral decisions, which he said were unconstitutional.

“Consensus is at the heart of the Taef Accord which also stipulated fairness and equality ... The Constitution also stipulates that the absence of sectarian balance can [legally] force the collapse of the government,” he said.

“The prime minister-designate is not the one in charge with forming [a Cabinet] and cannot impose or threaten a certain reality,” he said.

 
Home Lebanon News
 
     
 
Lebanon
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Story Summary
Caretaker Energy Minister Gebran Bassil stood firm Sunday on his party's opposition to rotating ministerial portfolios based on party and sect in the next Cabinet, arguing that it would deprive Christians in Lebanon from heading one of the country's primary ministries.

During a televised news conference, Bassil also said the Energy Ministry should be entrusted to Christians given that it restored their role and ensured their presence in the country.

The Future Movement has said that one of its conditions to joining a new government with Hezbollah is the rotation of ministerial portfolios based on party and sect.

Bassil, Aoun's son-in-law, argued that the policy of rotating ministerial portfolios in a government with a short life would be deleterious to the work of sate institutions and ministries in the country.

Bassil said Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam was allocating ministries in a manner that addressed the needs and concerns of certain sects, excluding Christians.
Related Articles
 
 
Cabinet convenes at Baabda Palace
Entities
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Friday April 18, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Silencing Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s hate talk
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Putin will keep rolling, until Obama says no
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS