Qaouq: Crisis to Continue as Long as Hariri Disregards Vote Results

A senior Hizbullah official warned Sunday that the government formation crisis “will continue” as long as Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri refuses to represent six pro-Hizbullah Sunni MPs in the new cabinet.

“The government crisis in Lebanon is aggravating and growing more complicated due to the PM-designate’s disregard for the results of the parliamentary elections and for the right of the independent Sunni MPs to governmental representation, especially that they represent a significant segment of the Lebanese,” Hizbullah central council member Sheikh Nabil Qaouq said.

“Ballot boxes gave those MPs the right to cabinet representation and not Hizbullah’s stance, which is a national and ethical stance that supports the right of these MPs, especially that some accepted the results of elections for all religious communities, but when the issue reached the independent Sunnis, they insisted on rejecting their representation,” Qaouq added.

He however noted that “this insistence has yielded an opposite result.”

“It has boosted the strength of their representation and influence in the political equation and no one can overlook them anymore. That’s why this means that as long as the PM-designate continues to disregard the results of the elections and the right of these MPs to representation, the crisis will continue,” the Hizbullah official warned.

He however added that Hizbullah is “keen on reaching a solution” while noting that “the obstacle was created by the PM-designate and its solution lies with the PM-designate.”

The new government was on the verge of formation on October 29 after the Lebanese Forces accepted the portfolios that were assigned to it but a last-minute hurdle over the representation of the pro-Hizbullah Sunni MPs surfaced.

Hizbullah has insisted that the six Sunni MPs should be given a seat in the government, refraining from providing Hariri with the names of its three Shiite ministers in a bid to press him.

Hariri has rejected the demand, announcing that he’d rather step down than give the aforementioned lawmakers a seat from his own share in the government.

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