Aoun speaks during a televised interview in Baabda, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra, HO)
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President Michel Aoun Wednesday backed Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri's stance on refusing to cede a seat to "independent" Sunni MPs in the new government, in the latest twist of the Cabinet formation crisis that has been further complicated by this issue.Referring to a group of six Sunni lawmakers not affiliated with Hariri's Future Movement who insisted on being represented in the new government, Aoun implied that they did not have a right to representation because they were not part of a single parliamentary bloc.Aoun praised Hariri as "a good man" and the strongest leader within the Sunni community. Although Hariri lost a third of the Future bloc's parliamentary seats in the May elections, Aoun said Hariri remained the strongest leader within his community.The issue of representing the so-called "independent Sunni MPs" figured high in talks behind the scenes between Hariri and caretaker Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, the FPM leader.
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