Aoun delivers a speech Tuesday during a plenary session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. AFP / FREDERICK FLORIN
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Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri's draft Cabinet formula was a "balanced" one, the parliamentary Future bloc said Wednesday in what appeared to be a response to President Michel Aoun, who called for a "balanced" government that would represent all parties. Hariri also said the draft Cabinet formula he presented to Aoun last week might need modifications.The bloc's statement came two days after Aoun called for the formation of a "balanced" government that would represent all parties, in his first public response to Hariri's draft Cabinet formula.Aoun voiced a number of reservations over Hariri's Cabinet formula, particularly over the allocation of ministerial posts to the Lebanese Forces and the Progressive Socialist Party.Besides failing to gain the support of Aoun and the Free Patriotic Movement, the proposal 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 premier-designate in forming a government.Caretaker Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil, a key political aide to Berri, said the formation of a new government should be accelerated to hasten discussions of the 2019 draft state budget.
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