Naharnet

Officials: 'No Solution, No Settlement' on Cabinet Crisis

The cabinet is set to meet on Thursday but its bickering parties have not yet reached a settlement to avoid a growing crisis, government officials told al-Mustaqbal daily.

The officials, who were not identified, said: “So far, there is no solution, nor a proposal, nor any settlement.”

“The only clear thing until now is what Prime Minister (Tammam) Salam is telling all those asking him about Thursday's session that he would open the door wide open to the members of the cabinet to express their viewpoints on the government's working mechanism,” the officials told the newspaper in remarks published Tuesday.

Salam has also said that he would move to the discussion of other items on the agenda when he feels the discussions have reached a dead-end.

The cabinet crisis grew earlier this month when a dispute erupted between Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil, who is a Free Patriotic Movement official, over the cabinet's decision-making mechanism.

The tension between Salam and Bassil was accompanied by a protest by FPM supporters near the Grand Serail where the session was underway.

The FPM, which is led by MP Michel Aoun, accuses the premier of infringing on the Christian president's powers in the absence of a head of state.

The failure to elect a successor to President Michel Suleiman after the end of his six-year term in May last year caused the paralysis of the parliament and divisions among cabinet members.


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