Riachi Says FPM 'Threw Over' the Rest of Maarab Agreement
As the conflict widens between the Lebanese Forces and Free Patriotic Movement over ministerial shares, caretaker Information Minister Melhem Riachi said the FPM “had obtained what it wanted from the Maarab Agreement and shunned other elements of the accord," Asharq al-Awsat daily reported on Saturday.
The LF Minister said the FPM “has obtained what it desired from the agreement, particularly the election of (FPM founder) President Michel Aoun, and threw over the rest of the accord,” he told the daily.
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 Geagea had withdrawn from the presidential race in favor of Aoun endorsing him for the head of State post.
The formation of the Cabinet has been delayed since Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri was tasked for the mission on May 24. The main obstacle hindering his mission is political wrangling over Christian and Druze representation.
The LF demand the allocation of four portfolios including a sovereign one. Meanwhile, the FPM reportedly rejects the demand.
Riachi stressed that his party has rejected a suggestion to allocate four key ministries in the new Cabinet lineup, instead of their original demand to get four portfolios including a so-called sovereign one.
He warned against further delay in lining the government, noting that advocates calling for restoration of relations with Syria is one of the manifestations to disrupt the formation process.
The four so-called sovereign ministerial portfolios are foreign affairs, defense, finance and interior.