Nasrallah, Syria Asked Jumblat for 7 Votes in Favor of Karami: Non-party Members Support Hariri

An agreement was reportedly made between the March 8 forces backed by Syria and Democratic Gathering leader MP Walid Jumblat for his bloc to give seven votes for the opposition’s nominee for the premier’s post, Omar Karami, amid efforts to guarantee a eighth MP.

An Nahar daily quoted March 14 forces as saying Saturday that Democratic Gathering MPs who are not members of Jumblat’s Progressive Socialist Party have informed him that they would nominate caretaker Premier Saad Hariri. They are: Mohammed al-Hajjar, Fouad al-Saad, Henri Helou, Marwan Hamadeh and Antoine Saad.

An Nahar said that Jumblat guaranteed that only five party members -- in addition to a sixth who could be MP Elie Aoun -- would vote for Karami.

The remaining six ministers stand by Hariri, the daily said.

Hariri and his coalition have 60 seats in the 128-seat parliament against 57 for the March 8 camp. Jumblat’s bloc holds 11 deputies, including five Christians and a Sunni. If he clinches the backing of enough of his MPs, he would guarantee that Hizbullah and its allies would impose Karami for the premiership.