Hariri and Bassil attend a Cabinet session at the Grand Serail in Beirut, Monday, March 27, 2017. (The Daily Star/Ahmad Azakir)
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On the flipside, a new proposal is on the table to break the impasse after a source close to Hariri revealed that the premier-designate suggested a 24-member Cabinet, as opposed to one with 30 seats.In the new proposal, the divide would be 12 Muslim ministers and 12 Christian ministers – the latter consisting of eight ministers for the president and the Free Patriotic Movement, three ministers to the Lebanese Forces, including a sovereign portfolio, and one minister to the Marada Movement.A source at Baabda Palace had told The Daily Star that the original proposed 30-member Cabinet formula would allocate 10 ministries, including two sovereign portfolios, for the FPM and Aoun's share.As for the Muslim ministers, the Sunnis would be represented with five – all from Hariri's Future Movement.An exception to this would be if Aoun continues his long-standing demand for naming one Sunni minister, in the event that he gives Hariri an opportunity to name a Christian minister. In the current outgoing Cabinet, Aoun has one Sunni minister.Asked if Bassil and Aoun shared the same opinion, the Baabda source said Aoun is maintaining his distance from all sides.
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