Franjieh: We Won't Join Govt. without Public Works Portfolio
Marada Movement chief Suleiman Franjieh announced Thursday that his bloc will not accept to join the new government if it does not get the public works portfolio.
“We want the public works portfolio or the energy portfolio or else we won't take part in the government and will join the opposition without practicing obstruction,” Franjieh said in an interview on MTV.
“The public works ministry will be allocated to the National Bloc and I'm not against its allocation to a Sunni minister” from the bloc, Franjieh added, referring to a Marada-led bloc which comprises Sunni MPs.
Noting that “80% of the obstacles have not been resolved” despite Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri's optimism, Franjieh said he doubts the government will be formed “without a representative of independent Sunnis.”
In an apparent jab at caretaker Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil, the Marada chief lamented that “there is a minister who is trying to decide on behalf of the president and the PM-designate.”
“There are attempts to confine us and they invented a battle over the public works ministry which we were not seeking and it involved an attempt to tarnish the reputation of the public works minister,” Franjieh went on to say.
“I do not have a problem with President (Michel) Aoun or Minister Bassil and the problem was raised against us. We do not consider ourselves to be in a confrontation with President Aoun,” the Marada leader however noted.
He added: “My allies have not and will not abandon me... (Hizbullah chief) Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah did not abandon me, even in my presidential nomination, and we were in full coordination back then, and today in the government formation process we are coordinating all details.”
Franjieh also pointed out that he does not want to “become president” if that requires him to “renounce” his principles.