Bassil: Govt. to be Formed when Aoun, Hariri Agree on Formation Standards

The new government will be formed when President Michel Aoun and PM-designate Saad Hariri agree on unified “formation standards,” Free Patriotic Movement chief MP Jebran Bassil said on Thursday.

“Lebanon's government will be created in Lebanon when the president and the PM-designate agree on formation standards. Those who accept it can stay in it and those who don't want it can leave,” Bassil said in an interview with MTV.

“We understand the situation of the PM-designate and we are helping him. We are sacrificing for Hariri and for the sake of the country,” Bassil said.

“Hariri will overcome the crises and obstacles. I'm one of the parties and the issue is in the hand of the president and the PM-designate,” the FPM chief added.

Reassuring the Lebanese that “there will be a government,” Bassi lamented that “unfortunately, some parties waste time during every formation process before we eventually reach the same result.”

As for the controversy over the Lebanese Forces' share in the new government, Bassil said “the LF is only entitled to three ministerial seats.”

“But we don't mind if someone wants to give them seats from his share,” he added.

“We're not against giving the LF a sovereign portfolio and we suggested that they get the foreign affairs portfolio but we were told that there is opposition to that, so we asked Hariri to give them the interior portfolio and take the foreign portfolio for his movement but this did not happen,” Bassil revealed.

“I'm paying the price daily through political assassination and the falsification has reached the extent of accusing us of sabotaging our interests through blocking the formation of the government,” the FPM chief decried.

And noting that it is “not important” whether or not he gets re-appointed as a minister, Bassil emphasized that he is “not a presidential candidate” out of respect for himself and for President Aoun.

As for his relation with Hariri, Bassil underlined that he does not have a problem with the premier-designate.

“I have not obstructed the formation of the government but rather facilitated it through saying that we're willing to stay outside the government,” the FPM chief said about the press conference he held after Hariri's latest optimistic remarks regarding the formation process.

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