24-Minister Cabinet Announced after 11-Month Deadlockإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam announced on Saturday the formation of a 24-minister cabinet, ten months and a week after his appointment.
The ministers have been distributed equally between the rival March 8 and 14 camps and centrists of President Michel Suleiman, Salam, and Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat.
The government formation efforts were facilitated when former Prime Minister Saad Hariri voiced his bloc's willingness on January 17 to join a government of national unity with Hizbullah and its allies, despite its strong opposition to the group's military intervention in Syria.
The Lebanese Forces of the March 14 camp was not granted any ministers after it had announced its boycott of a cabinet that includes members of Hizbullah.
The line-up was revealed after a meeting on Saturday morning between Suleiman, Salam, and Speaker Nabih Berri at the Baabda Palace.
The formation of the cabinet should help ease fears that over the postponement of the presidential elections that are scheduled for spring.
Suleiman's term ends in May.
The main obstacles in the formation of the cabinet in recent weeks lied in Free Patriotic Movement's rejection to relinquish the Energy Ministry portfolio and Hizbullah's appointment of former Internal Security Forces chief Ashraf Rifi as interior minister.
The line-up is as follows:
Prime Minister: Tammam Salam
Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister: Samir Moqbel (Orthodox - centrist)
Interior Minister: Nouhad Mashnouq (Sunni - March 14)
Foreign Minister: Jebran Bassil (Maronite – March 8)
Finance Minister: Ali Hassan Khalil (Shiite – March 8)
Telecommunications Minister: Butros Harb (Maronite)
Labor Minister: Sejaan Qazzi (Maronite)
Tourism Minister: Michel Pharaon (Catholic)
Economy Minister: Alain Hakim (Catholic)
Justice Minister: Ashraf Rifi (Sunni)
State Minister for Administrative Reform: Nabil De Freij (Minorities)
Social Affairs Minister: Rashid Derbas (Sunni)
Public Works and Transportation: Ghazi Zoaiter (Shiite)
State Minister for Parliament Affairs: Mohammed Fneish (Shiite)
Industry Minister: Hussein al-Hajj Hassan (Shiite)
Culture Minister: Rony Araiji (Maronite)
Energy Ministry: Arthur Nazarian (Armenian Orthodox)
Education Minister: Elias Bou Saab
Environment Minister: Mohammed al-Mashnouq (Sunni)
Youth and Sports Minister: Abdul Motleb al-Hennawi (Shiite)
Health Minister: Wael Abou Faour (Druze)
Agriculture Minister: Akram Shehayyeb (Druze)
Displaced Minister: Alice Chabtini
Information Minister: Ramzi Greij