Berri Questions Slowness of Cabinet Formation: After Discovery of Oil, Isn’t Energy Ministry as Important as Defense?

House Speaker Nabih Berri noted on Friday that the March 14 camp’s announcement of its refusal to take part in Cabinet will facilitate and speed up Prime Minister Najib Miqati’s efforts to form the government, reported the daily An Nahar on Saturday.

Furthermore, he questioned before his visitors on Friday the slowness in the government formation process seeing as the names of potential ministers all belong to one camp.

He added that he refuses to get involved in the dispute between President Michel Suleiman and Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun over the distribution of portfolios, asking why the dispute should affect the Lebanese people’s daily lives.

Berri also asked: “With no disrespect to the army, but after the discovery of petroleum, isn’t the Energy Ministry more important than the Defense Ministry?”

The speaker also denied to As Safir in remarks published on Saturday that the delay in the government formation is linked to the March 14 camp’s celebration on March 14 or to the release of the indictment in the investigation into the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

“Such claims are inaccurate and the PM-designate will not hesitate to announce the new government even if it were on the night of March 13,” he added.

The only major obstacle lies in who will be granted the interior ministry portfolio, he continued.

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