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Lebanon News

Jumblatt hopes to resolve details in way of new Cabinet

File - PSP leader Walid Jumblatt is seen in Beirut, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir)

BEIRUT: MP Walid Jumblatt voiced hope Monday that the matters standing in the way of forming an all-embracing Cabinet would be resolved as soon as possible, after holding talks with Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Ghazanfar Roknabadi.

“I hope that minor details are resolved within the next few hours or days so we can stand united with an all-embracing government,” Jumblatt, the head of the Progressive Socialist Party, said following a two-hour meeting at the Iranian Embassy in Beirut.

“We should not forget that the presidential election is coming up and every expression of solidarity is needed, particularly after what happened in Tripoli, the [Beirut] southern suburbs and the Iranian Embassy,” he added, referring to the recent string of car bombs in the country.

Jumblatt also praised former Prime Minister Saad Hariri for voicing readiness to take part in a government with Hezbollah.

Efforts to form an all-embracing Cabinet based on a lineup proposed by Jumblatt and Speaker Nabih Berri hit a standstill after MP Michel Aoun rejected the principle of rotating ministerial portfolios.

Earlier in the day, caretaker Social Affairs Minister Wael Abu Faour, a PSP official, signaled that a fait accompli government could soon be formed.

“President Michel Sleiman and Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam might have to declare a caesarian birth for the Cabinet,” Faour told Voice of Lebanon radio station.

His reference to a “caesarian birth” was understood as a fait accompli Cabinet, which Hezbollah and the March 8 coalition have repeatedly warned against.

Abu Faour said the National Struggle Front, headed by Jumblatt, still sought an all-embracing Cabinet but “the difficulty of reaching this aim might impose other choices that the Front is against.”

The minister’s comments came as Hezbollah continues to push Aoun to make a compromise over the rotation of ministerial portfolios, a March 14 alliance demand for joining an all-embracing Cabinet with the resistance group.

Aoun insists on reappointing members of his party to the Energy Ministry and Telecoms Ministry, saying such a mechanism should only be introduced at the start of a new Parliament or new presidential term.

 

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Summary

MP Walid Jumblatt voiced hope Monday that the matters standing in the way of forming an all-embracing Cabinet would be resolved as soon as possible, after holding talks with Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Ghazanfar Roknabadi.

Efforts to form an all-embracing Cabinet based on a lineup proposed by Jumblatt and Speaker Nabih Berri hit a standstill after MP Michel Aoun rejected the principle of rotating ministerial portfolios.

The minister's comments came as Hezbollah continues to push Aoun to make a compromise over the rotation of ministerial portfolios, a March 14 alliance demand for joining an all-embracing Cabinet with the resistance group.


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