Naharnet

Berri Says Delay in Forming Govt. is ‘Shameful’

Speaker Nabih Berri criticized the stalled efforts to form Lebanon’s government and described them as “shameful and a real farce,” but nevertheless affirmed “ongoing” negotiations with the Consultative Gathering group in order to find the “appropriate” format.

In remarks he made to his visitors, Berri touched on the blocking third issue saying: “It is difficult for a specific party to get the blocking third,” he said in reference to reported claims that the Free Patriotic Movement is seeking to get 11-ministers in a 30 seat cabinet which grants it veto powers.

He said it was unlikely for Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri to step down from his mission to form the government, assuring that he “adheres to having Hariri as Premier. Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has also given positive signals in that direction in his televised speech.”

Berri said he insists on holding a legislative session soon “whether the government was formed this week or not.” “There are several pressing financial matters, tied to vital interests of the state, that need instant approval. I can not watch the gradual collapse without doing anything," he said.

The issue of representing the Hizbullah-backed Consultative Gathering, a grouping of six Sunni MPs, has delayed the formation of the government for several months now. Previous disagreements over Christian and Druze representation had also hindered the formation process.

Source: Naharnet


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