Lebanon Forms 30-Member Govt.: Kataeb Stays Out as Five New Portfolios Created

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The line-up of a 30-minister cabinet was announced on Sunday at the Baabda Palace, bringing together most of the political spectrum except for the Kataeb Party that refused to be represented by a state minister.

New portfolios include an anti-corruption post and, for the first time, a minister of state for women.

“This is a national unity government... and it will immediately start to address as much issues as it can during its term that will not exceed a few months, topped by the problems of waste, electricity and water,” said Prime Minister Saad Hariri in a speech at the Baabda Palace after the line-up was declared.

“Politically, the first mission of this government, in cooperation with the parliament, will be to reach a new electoral law that takes proportional representation and correct representation into consideration, so that the parliamentary polls can be organized on time,” Hariri added.

“Accordingly, this government can be considered an elections government,” the PM went on to say.

Hariri was nominated to form the government on November 3.

Below is the cabinet line-up as announced by the secretary-general of the council of ministers:

- Ghassan Hasbani (Deputy PM and Health Minister, Lebanese Forces)

- Melhem Riachi (Information Minister, LF)

- Pierre Bou Assi (Social Affairs Minister, LF)

- Marwan Hamadeh (Education Minister, Progressive Socialist Party)

- Ayman Shqeir (State Minister for Human Rights, PSP)

- Talal Arslan (Minister of the Displaced, part of PSP's share)

- Ghazi Zoaiter (Agriculture Minister, AMAL Movement)

- Ali Hassan Khalil (Finance Minister, AMAL Movement)

- Michel Pharaon (State Minister for Planning Affairs)

- Ali Qansou (State Minister for Parliament Affairs, Syrian Social Nationalist Party)

- Mohammed Fneish (Sport and Youth Minister, Hizbullah)

- Hussein al-Hajj Hassan (Industry Minister, Hizbullah)

- Jean Oghassabian (State Minister for Women's Affairs, al-Mustaqbal Movement)

- Nouhad al-Mashnouq (Interior Minister, Mustaqbal)

- Mohammed Kabbara (Labor Minister, Mustaqbal)

- Jamal al-Jarrah (Telecommunications Minister, Mustaqbal)

- Moein al-Merehbi (State Minister for Refugee Affairs, Mustaqbal)

- Ghattas Khoury (Culture Minister, Mustaqbal)

- Yaaqoub al-Sarraf (Defense Minister, loyal to President Michel Aoun)

- Salim Jreissati (Justice Minister, loyal to President Michel Aoun)

- Jebran Bassil (Foreign Minister, Free Patriotic Movement)

- Pierre Raffoul (State Minister for Presidency Affairs, FPM)

- Cesar Abi Khalil (Energy and Water Minister, FPM)

- Nicola Tueni (State Minister for Combating Corruption)

- Tareq al-Khatib (Environment Minister)

- Enaya Ezzeddine (State Minister for Administrative Development)

- Youssef Finianos (Public Works and Transport Minister, Marada Movement)

- Raed Khoury (Economy Minister)

- Ouadis Kedenian (Tourism Minister)

The announcement followed a meeting at the Baabda Palace between President Michel Aoun, Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

The Kataeb Party refused to take part in the cabinet after it was offered a state minister post, media reports said.

Kataeb chief "Sami Gemayel believes that what was offered to Kataeb was aimed at excluding it from the cabinet," LBCI television reported.

Comments 11
Thumb shab 18 December 2016, 22:31

lool @ anti-corruption post

Default-user-icon Nour (Guest) 18 December 2016, 23:06

A man as the first State Minister for Women Affairs!!! There are plenty of qualified women in Lebanon. But it looks like our politicians ignore them.

Default-user-icon Hazel population (Guest) 18 December 2016, 23:23

He's in a worse shape than I thought.. someone has convinced Michel Aoun that he's Emile Lahoud his two ministers Jresati and Sarraf are Lahoud cronies. They both worked with Adnan Addoum on Aoun's embezzlement file back when he was in exile. Jreisati replaced Charbel Nahhas as M8 point man within the C&R block when the later was developed an independent streak.

Missing cedars 18 December 2016, 23:44

Anti-corruption minister to battle those who do not pay electricity and build illegally on the airport road.
Why do we have one solo airport? And Why does it take 2 hrs to leave the airport on one lane road while the other lane is for U turns from the opposite direction.
I pay yearly 300 dollars water to the ministry for a house I do not use or reside in. Really? Why not pay on usage?
Mosquitos killing us in the summer from trash disputes yet we continue to pay the fee yearly..
Why Levi's 501 is banned not because Israeli but because Mc daddy has other chakika jeans to sell us?

Thumb liberty 19 December 2016, 00:59

They could not find a woman to represent women in the women's affairs ministry?

Missing incorruptible 19 December 2016, 00:59

Any "unity" government is suboptimal. However such a government is needed in order to create and implement a proper electoral law; given that no party can create a one sided law.

Hopefully this will be quick (it won't) and they'll have elections ready on time (they won't be).

Thumb oompa.loompa 19 December 2016, 01:56

The ultimate decision on a new electoral law is the Parliament not the government. The government can approve a draft law but without the Parliamentary vote it cannot be enacted. It has to pass through the Parliamentary committees then debated in the general assemble before a vote can takes place and it can be amended anytime throughout. The Mikati government approved a law based on proportional representation and 13 districts and submitted it to Parliament. It was never voted on because soon after MPs Abi Nasr and Alain Aoun submitted one based on the so called Orthodox proposal and then all hell broke loose. Besides Berri is sitting on at least a dozen laws, including one from Amal, but he refuses to submit them for debate or vote. So regardless what the government does it's up to Berri to get the thing moving, if he doesn't it will be but one more electoral law rotting in his cupboard.

Thumb enterprise 19 December 2016, 01:33

Hizbullah Insists on Cabinet of 30 Ministers
hizbullah gets cabinet of 30 ministers!


A failed country like Lebanon deserves nothing more than a cabinet of this caliber.

Default-user-icon Disgrutled citizen (Guest) 19 December 2016, 08:07

A joke of a country. Ministry of human rights. you must be Fing kidding me. Lebanon does not cover the very basic human rights clean water and electricity.
Ministry of women affairs?????? and they post a man...Where is the gender balance in this cabinet line-up?
You are all an insult to our intelligence, a bunch of low life hustlers and thieves.
a joke of a country, a shame to the people.
I am so incredibly ashamed to be Lebanese.

Missing peace 19 December 2016, 15:10

because of course you believe they will tackle the real problems at hand....

Thumb thepatriot 19 December 2016, 17:53

Ali Quansou!! Seriously!!?