Caretaker Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil leaves the Parliament in Beirut, Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Despite making reported headway in the problem of Christian representation, the formation of a new government Monday appeared to still be bogged down in the problem of Druze representation, as well as the Lebanese Forces' insistence on being granted a sovereign ministry, political sources said.Caretaker Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil, a key political aide to Speaker Nabih Berri, sounded pessimistic about any imminent breakthrough in the government formation stalemate, saying the problems over the representation of the Christian and Druze communities, as well as Sunni lawmakers not affiliated with the Future Movement, have not yet been solved.Hariri's expected meeting with former MP Walid Joumblatt, leader of the Progressive Socialist Party, will focus on resolving the problem of Druze representation amid insistence by Joumblatt on naming the three ministers reserved for the Druze sect in a 30-member government, a political source familiar with the Cabinet formation process said.Caretaker Education Minister Marwan Hamadeh from Joumblatt's bloc said the new government could be formed soon if the Druze Cabinet representation was solely confined to the PSP and the LF was granted a sovereign ministry.
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