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Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri presented President Michel Aoun with a draft Cabinet lineup Wednesday night, a clear sign of major progress that political sources said could lead to the formation of a national accord government by the weekend.This was Hariri's second meeting with Aoun since the president appointed the head of the Future Movement on Nov. 3 to form a new government.The LF's insistence on getting a "sovereign" portfolio had posed a major hurdle to the premier-designate's attempts to form a national accord government before Independence Day as hoped for by Aoun, Speaker Nabih Berri and Hariri. The LF is allied with Aoun's Free Patriotic Movement and Hariri's Future Movement. MP Sleiman Frangieh, the Marada Movement leader who ran against Aoun in the presidential race, has said that his party would not participate in the new government unless it was allotted one of the key portfolios: The Energy, Telecommunications and Public Works ministries.Bassil, the FPM leader, met with LF representatives, while two of Hariri's aides, former MP Ghattas Khoury and Nader Hariri, chief of Hariri's staff, met with Kataeb Party leader MP Sami Gemayel at the Kataeb headquarters in Beirut's Saifi area to discuss the Cabinet formation process.Earlier in the day, Berri remained optimistic that a new government would be formed soon.
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