Aoun and his wife arrive at Strasbourg Airport, Monday, Sept. 10, 2018. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra, HO)
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President Michel Aoun called Monday for the formation of a "balanced" government that would represent all the parties to break the monthslong stalemate, in what appeared to be the first public response to Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri's stalled draft Cabinet formula.Aoun also rejected accusations that the presidency was responsible for hindering the formation of a new Cabinet, shifting blame to parties that squabble over key ministerial posts and constitutional prerogatives instead of tackling the "primary issue" of government formation itself.The formula has not only failed to gain the support of Aoun and the Free Patriotic Movement, but it has also sparked a heated row between the FPM, founded by Aoun, and Hariri's Future Movement over the prerogatives of the president and the prime minister-designate in forming a government.A top Shiite sheikh also pushed politicians to resolve the government deadlock as quickly as possible, calling on Aoun in particular to give up his Cabinet share to save the country.
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