Sunni Representation and Arslan’s Insistence on Portfolio Delay Cabinet Formation

Sources close to President Michel Suleiman ruled out on Sunday the formation of the new cabinet in the next few days as Premier-designate Najib Miqati’s sources said he hasn’t yet received the names of the candidates of the Free Patriotic Movement and Hizbullah.

The Baabda palace sources told Ad-Diyar daily that Miqati was still seeking to remove the obstacles hindering the formation of the cabinet.

“Baabda is ready to receive him as soon as he solves them paving way for the (cabinet) decree,” they said.

Miqati’s sources told al-Mustaqbal newspaper that no new developments were made on the level of the formation of the government except for a meeting that Miqati held with Speaker Nabih Berri on Saturday.

They discussed ways to solve the problem of the Sunni representation, they said.

An Nahar daily said that the prime minister-designate is also in continuous contact with President Michel Suleiman.

“The winds of optimism that blew three days ago began dissipating,” the daily said, drawing question marks about the possible formation of the new government anytime soon.

Sources following up the cabinet formation process told al-Mustaqbal that the representation of the sixth Sunni minister and the insistence of MP Talal Arslan on getting a portfolio rather than be allotted a state ministry are the main problems hindering the announcement of the lineup.

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