Berri Affirms AMAL 'Won’t Renounce Cabinet Shares This Time'
Speaker Nabih Berri said he is not ready this time to abandon any part of his AMAL Movement share in the new government, affirming that the party and Hizbullah will distribute the six-seat Shiite share equally between them, al-Akhbar daily reported on Thursday.
The daily said that “Berri insists in advance that he is not in a position to make a new concession of his share, or the share of Shiite duo.”
In 2011, Berri relinquished a Shiite ministerial seat of his share during the government of ex-PM Najib Miqati to facilitate the Cabinet formation. The seat was allocated to Faisal Karami, a Sunni minister of the March 8 alliance.
A second concession was made in the current government of Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri in 2016. Berri gave up the public works portfolio in favor of al-Marada Movement.
“I will not concede any portfolios this time. A sovereign portfolio will be allocated for AMAL, and a services portfolio will be allocated to Hizbullah. Let them deal with it,” said Berri.
Berri said he is already in “agreement with Hariri that the Shiite share will be divided equally giving three portfolios for AMAL, and three for Hizbullah. AMAL will get a sovereign portfolio (finance ministry), while a services portfolio most probably the health, to be allocated to Hizbullah.”
“The rest will be discussed later with premie,” Berri concluded.