Miqati’s Government Teetering between Aoun’s Demands and Berri’s Proposal
Political sources monitoring the formation of the new government revealed that the recent meeting Thursday night between Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati with Caretaker Energy Minister Jebran Bassil “has not overcome the several obstacles regarding FPM leader MP Michel Aoun’s demands over the new cabinet, including his demand for the interior ministry portfolio.”
They told the daily An Nahar in remarks published on Saturday that House Speaker Nabih Berri had proposed that Aoun be granted the foreign ministry, while the speaker would assume the energy and defense ministries and the president would retain the interior ministry, but the suggestion was rejected.
“Aoun refused to relinquish the interior and energy ministries. Several suggestions were made during the meeting, but Aoun rejected them all by insisting on taking the interior ministry, unless he is granted the ministry of finance, which Miqati had promised Minister Mohammad Safadi,” they continued.
They stated that it was agreed that President Michel Suleiman would be granted two portfolios, but he insisted on a third that of the interior ministry.
Furthermore, the sources said that the talks have resulted in Suleiman, Miqati, and PSP leader MP Walid Jumblat all receiving nine or ten portfolios.
“The meeting did not yield solutions, but dialogue is still ongoing between Miqati and the new majority,” they added.