PM Saad Hariri attends a Beirut design week event in Mar Mkhayel. (the Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri Thursday dismissed rumors that ties with President Michel Aoun were fraying, and urged for political calm to allow the Cabinet formation process to proceed smoothly.However, Aoun made it clear that it was his right to pick a deputy prime minister as well as other ministers through whom he monitors the Cabinet's work.The political settlement between the two led to Aoun's election as president in 2016, in exchange for Hariri's reappointment as a prime minister.Touching on the government formation process, Hariri admitted there were certain hurdles he was still working to overcome.All political sides are in agreement on the need for a quick government formation, so we are close to resolving the issue and every side to getting their share as they should," Hariri said.He reiterated that the new Cabinet would be comprised of 30 ministers, after reports suggested that Hariri might decide to form a 24-member Cabinet. Hariri has also been facing demands by Sunni lawmakers, not affiliated to his Future Movement, to be represented in Cabinet.Touching on the government formation saga, Abu Faour said the PSP and Joumblatt support all of Hariri's efforts in the Cabinet formation process.
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