Aoun meets with Lassen at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, Friday, June 1, 2018. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra, HO)
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Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri said Friday he expected a new government to be formed after Eid al-Fitr, maintaining his optimism despite hurdles that might hinder the Cabinet formation process by rival factions' demands for key ministerial posts. Attempts to form a new government will pick up pace early next week following Hariri's return to Beirut from a visit to Saudi Arabia, a source close to the premier-designate said Friday.Commenting on rival parties' demands for key ministerial posts, Hariri was quoted as saying that Hezbollah would get three ministers in a 30-member Cabinet.Hariri also appeared to be optimistic that a solution would be found to the problem of Druze representation in the next government.Hariri, who has been prime minister since December 2016 and served his first term from 2009 to 2011, was designated for the third time with an overwhelming parliamentary majority on May 24 to form a new government.While Hariri was away, political rivals began traditional jockeying in a bid to grab a bigger share of Cabinet posts despite promises made by the leaders of major parliamentary blocs to help facilitate and accelerate the formation of a new unity government representing all the parties.
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