'Independent Sunni MPs' Meet Aoun, Insist on Govt. Seat for One of Themإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The Consultative Sunni Gathering, a recently-formed grouping of six pro-Hizbullah MPs, held talks Friday with President Michel Aoun in Baabda to press for their representation in the new government.
“We said that one of the six MPs should be represented and this is the only solution to us,” MP Abdul Rahim Mrad said after the meeting.
“MP Talal Arslan is one individual and he has been represented in the government in one way or another, whereas as his bloc comprises three MPs from the Free Patriotic Movement,” Mrad explained.
“We are a gathering that comprises six MPs who won around 30% of the Sunni vote and when the PM-designate rejects representing those who are outside al-Mustaqbal, this contradicts with what everyone has done," the MP added.
“Why should (Saad) Hariri monopolize Sunni representation in the government whereas all parties from all other sects are represented in it?” Mrad asked.
Noting that Aoun “understood their viewpoint,” the lawmaker said the president asked them to “deal calmly with the issue.”
Told that he belongs to Hizbullah’s Loyalty to Resistance bloc, MP Al-Waleed Sukkariyeh meanwhile said: “I’m in the Resistance bloc and the Consultative Gathering is an alliance of a grouping of Sunni MPs who share the same political approach within the Sunni community.”
Asked about the possibility that Christian MPs who belong to various blocs could voice the same demand, Sukkariyeh said: “Let them form an alliance and demand whatever they want.”
The MPs had visited Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Latif Daryan on Thursday in a bid to garner backing for their call. They also have plans to meet with Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi in Bkirki.
The government was on the verge of formation on October 29 after the Lebanese Forces accepted the portfolios that were assigned to it but a last-minute hurdle over the representation of the aforementioned MPs surfaced.
Hizbullah has insisted that the six Sunni MPs should be given a seat in the government, refraining from providing Hariri with the names of its own ministers in a bid to press him.
Aoun -- a Hizbullah ally -- threw his support behind Hariri and rejected the demand during a TV interview, noting that the aforementioned MPs are “individuals and not a bloc.”