Report: LF Signals ‘Publishing Maarab Agreement’ with FPM
A Lebanese Forces MP said the party is willing to “publish to media” their so-called Maarab agreement with the Free Patriotic Movement that brought President Michel Aoun to his post “shall the FPM disavow the accord,” al-Hayat daily reported on Monday.
“We insist on the understanding we reached with Gen. Aoun before he became President. But, shall they (FPM) repudiate it, then we will publish it in media outlets,” MP Wehbe Katicha of the the LF’s Strong Republic bloc was quoted as saying.
He stressed the LF’s right for “Cabinet representation based on the results we achieved in the parliamentary elections,” pointing out that Maarab agreement with Aoun clearly included the issue of the LF representation in the governments of Aoun, taking into account the “quantity and quality,” of portfolios.
On a controversial issue giving the President Cabinet portfolios separate from the ones allocated to his Free Patriotic Movement, Katicha said the “whole Cabinet must be considered part of the President’s share. Limiting the president to a specific share only weakens the head of state position.”
As for Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri’s position regarding the distribution of portfolios, Katicha said: “Hariri is very keen on respecting the LF’s right for representation,” assuring that ties with Hariri and his Mustaqbal Movement have returned back to normal after getting strained during the parliamentary elections.
The 2016 Maarab agreement brought the onetime foes together, LF chief Samir Geagea and FPM founder Aoun. Geagea had withdrawn from the presidential race in favor of Aoun endorsing him for the head of State post.