Report: ‘Never in a Hundred Years’ Would Shiite Duo Relinquish Finance Portfolio
The Shiite duo, AMAL Movement and Hizbullah, have shown no leniency in relinquishing demands to retain the finance ministerial portfolio and to name their ministers in the upcoming government, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Tuesday.
“Not in a hundred years will they take the finance ministry from us. Just as we won’t accept them to annul us and let them name our ministers,” sources of AMAL and Hizbullah told the daily on condition of anonymity.
In a clear hit at the Shiite duo’s ally, President Michel Aoun's Free Patriotic Movement, the sources added: “Some have been indolent in this matter for personal reasons maybe, but we will not back down or relinquish these two demands no matter what.”
PM-designate Mustafa Adib's efforts to form a government have been effectively blocked by the two main Shiite groups in Lebanon's usual power-sharing arrangement.
Observers have said their insistence to keep the finance ministry under their control is linked to recent US sanctions against a former minister from AMAL, as well as Hizbullah-linked businesses.
Adib is under pressure to form a fresh cabinet as soon as possible, so it can launch reforms required to unlock billions of dollars in foreign aid.