Aoun's Bloc Slams Hariri Line-Up, Bid to 'Encroach' on President Powers

The Strong Lebanon parliamentary bloc on Tuesday criticized a draft Cabinet line-up presented by Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri on Monday, warning of a perceived attempt to "encroach" on President Michel Aoun's powers and "bypass the results of the parliamentary elections."

“We reject the monopolization of confessional representation and we see an attempt to bypass and disrespect the results of the parliamentary elections,” MP Ibrahim Kanaan said after the bloc's weekly meeting.

“There is an attempt to bypass the president's role. Did the Taef Accord abolish the president's role? Is it a threat to state institutions if he practices his powers?” the MP lamented.

He added: “We respect the jurisdiction of all state institutions and what we heard yesterday after the Baabda statement was unacceptable. President Aoun is entrusted with real and true partnership.”

Hariri announced Monday that he presented to Aoun a format for "a national unity government" that does not entail a "victory" for a political camp over another. Speaking to reporters after a long-anticipated meeting with Aoun in Baabda, Hariri said the proposed format would involve "sacrifices from all parties."

The Presidency said Aoun voiced reservations over the line-up based on “the standards that he had announced for the government's format which are necessary to achieve the country's interest.”

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