Report: Aoun, Hizbullah ‘Discuss’ Sunni Hurdle
Discussions about the government formation process and the “Sunni representation obstacle” were reportedly held between President Michel Aoun and Hizbullah party, the pan-Arab al-Hayat daily said on Tuesday.
Hizbullah insists on allocating a ministerial seat for a Sunni MP of March 8 camp, and refuses to submit the names of its ministers to PM-designate Saad Hariri in order to form the government.
The representation of said MPs of March 8 -the newest obstacle hampering the formation of Lebanon’s government- still obstructs the mission of PM-designate Saad Hariri, who is currently in Paris.
President Michel Aoun is following up on the “Sunni obstacle”, said the daily, but well-informed sources close to Baabda said discussions to ease the hurdle “have not yet produced tangible results.”
They also said “contacts were held between Aoun and Hizbullah,” without disclosing the content; and between the President and Hariri, and Speaker Nabih Berri on that matter.
Meanwhile, sources of al-Mustaqbal Movement (of the Premier) said Hariri is taking his time in Paris to follow on the formation issue.
Mustaqbal MP Mohammed Hajjar said the “adamant stances to give a Cabinet seat for said MPs is an invitation to not form the government.”
“For us, the government will be complete when Hizbullah decides to submit the names of its ministers,” to Hariri, he added.
Hariri has been in Paris on a private visit since Thursday according to his office.
His departure after a last-minute hurdle delayed the formation of his long-awaited government has raised speculation that the PM-designate has left the country in protest at the current situation.
The new cabinet was on the verge of formation last Monday after the Lebanese Forces accepted the portfolios that were assigned to it but a row over the representation of pro-Hizbullah Sunni MPs surfaced.
Hizbullah has backed the MPs' demand and refrained from providing Hariri with the names of its own ministers in a bid to press him to accept giving a seat to the aforementioned Sunni grouping.
Hariri has reportedly announced that he'd rather step down than give the MPs a seat from his own ministerial share.