'New Drive' as Bassil Reportedly Accepts 4-Seat Share for LF

There is a "new drive" in the Cabinet formation process, an AMAL Movement minister said on Friday.

Speaking after talks with PM-designate Saad Hariri, caretaker Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil said: “There is a new drive in the government formation process and we hope things will move forward.”

LBCI television meanwhile quoted unnamed sources as saying that Free Patriotic Movement chief MP Jebran Bassil has agreed that the Lebanese Forces be granted four ministerial portfolios, “including one that can be described as a sovereign portfolio.”

“No party will get a share that exceeds ten ministers,” the sources added.

The four portfolios labeled as 'sovereign' in Lebanon are foreign affairs, defense, interior and finance. The justice and energy portfolios are sometimes viewed as being on the same level of importance.

In remarks to MTV, FPM sources meanwhile downplayed LBCI's report.

“It is not up to Bassil to specify the shares and portfolios of the other blocs and he's only concerned with the bloc's portfolios and share,” the sources said.

The reports come in the wake of a long-anticipated meeting between Bassil and Hariri that was held on Thursday.

The LF's share and that of the Progressive Socialist Party are reportedly the two main obstacles that are delaying the formation of the new government.

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