Suleiman Hints Constitution Doesn't State Representation of Political Parties in Cabinetإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
President Michel Suleiman would be abiding by the Constitution if he formed a neutral cabinet along with Premier-designate Tammam Salam, political sources said.
The sources told pan-Arab daily al-Hayat published on Thursday that the Constitution does not state the representation of certain political parties in the government.
The president said Wednesday that there was a need to form a new government before March 25, the deadline set by the Constitution for the parliament to meet to elect a new president.
“I will seek Lebanon's interest,” Suleiman said in response to a question on the measures he would take should the deadline end.
“We must form a new government and come up with a ministerial statement, both of which need at least a month of work,” he warned after a closed-door meeting with Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi in Bkirki.
“Do politicians make the nation and unite it?” Suleiman asked in a clear hint that the Constitution does not state the cabinet should be made up of representatives of political parties.
“We have democracy and a Constitution. Let's implement them,” he said.
The differences between the March 8 and 14 alliances have so far prevented Salam from coming up with a line-up.
The Hizbullah-led March 8 camp wants a government in which it would get nine ministers similar to the March 14 alliance, while centrists would have six ministers.
But March 14 is rejecting such a proposal, calling for the formation of a neutral cabinet.
Officials described by al-Hayat as close to Suleiman have expressed surprise at accusations made by some parties that the president was responsible for the deadlock.
“As if they are not responsible for the situation in the country because of their disagreement on the formation of a new cabinet for the past nine months,” they said.
Al-Hayat quoted sources as saying that the first half of January would be crucial in terms of the decision to form another government if a neutral cabinet was not welcomed.
But the country would head towards chaos if the second government was also rejected by lawmakers, the sources warned.