Report: Berri Says Geagea wants to Keep Kataeb and Marada Out of Cabinetإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Speaker Nabih Berri has warned PM-designate Saad Hariri that the Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea plans to keep the Kataeb party and Marada Movement out of the new government formula, al-Akhbar daily reported on Saturday.
The daily said that Geagea is trying to limit the Christian representation in the new cabinet to his LF ministers.
Berri has advised Hariri to seek to pick ministers from both the Kataeb and Matrad as he expressed willingness to facilaite any obstacles that might hamper this step, according to al-Akhbar.
Hariri began his consultations on Friday with the parliamentarians to form the new cabinet after being nominated to the post by 112 out of 126 members of parliament. The consultations will continue on Saturday.
Hariri met with several blocs on Friday including the Lebanese Forces.
The LF bloc MP George Adwan said after the meeting that his bloc demanded “a sovereign ministerial portfolio, a services-related portfolio and a mid-caliber portfolio.”
“We want a government in which all parties would abide by its decisions without boycotting or obstruction. Those who want to practice obstruction or opposition are free to stay outside Cabinet,” Adwan added.
Former prime minister Hariri was nominated Thursday to form Lebanon's next government.
Hariri's key support had contributed to the election of Free Patriotic Movement founder and ex-army chief Michel Aoun as Lebanon's 13th president on Monday, which ended around two and a half years of presidential and political vacuum.
Hariri's nomination and Aoun's election have raised hopes that Lebanon can begin tackling challenges including a stagnant economy, a moribund political class and the influx of more than a million Syrian refugees.
In a sign that Hariri's task ahead might not be easy, Hizbullah's MPs declined to endorse him for the prime minister post, even though his nomination was all-but-assured.
Hariri is likely to struggle with his government's policy statement, which will have to make reference to Israel, as well as the war in Syria, both potential flashpoints with Hizbullah.
The process of forming a government could take months, with horsetrading likely to revolve around the distribution of key posts like the interior, defense and energy ministries.