Lebanon News

Geagea urges immediate birth of neutral Cabinet

Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea speaks during an interview with The Daily Star in Maarab, Tuesday, May 8, 2012. (The Daily Star/Aldo Ayoub)

BEIRUT: Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea reiterated Tuesday his call for the immediate formation of a nonpartisan neutral Cabinet, blaming the “narrow interests” of his Christian political rival MP Michel Aoun for prolonging the months-long government crisis.

“President Michel Sleiman and Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam should not waste any more time and they should use their constitutional powers to form a neutral government [that excludes] the March 8 and 14 coalition,” he told the Central News Agency.

“Such a step has become urgent for the interests of the nation,” the LF chief said.

“For the first time, experience is showing that the formation of a so-called all-embracing government is facing major obstacles related to political issues and narrow details, calculations and interests,” he said, in an apparent reference to Aoun.

Aoun, a member of the March 8 coalition who wields the second largest parliamentary bloc, has rejected the rotation of ministerial portfolios in an all-embracing government, a key demand by the March 14 alliance.

Geagea repeated that the new government’s policy statement should include the Baabda Declaration, a pact by Lebanese political rivals to distance the country from regional conflicts, particularly in neighboring Syria.

The LF leader said the present circumstances in the country required a “capable and effective” Cabinet.

“A neutral government is the only one ... that [can] lead to stability in the country and distances itself from the logic of [sharing of spoils],” Geagea said.





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