Hizbullah Mediates amid Pessimism Over Cabinet Formation after Denial of 3 Tens Deal

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Hizbullah has advised Premier-designate Najib Miqati to “exercise more patience” and promised him to exert all efforts to help achieve common grounds over Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun’s demands of shares in the new cabinet, high-ranking political sources told An Nahar daily on Monday.

The sources also denied reports that Miqati had agreed to give 10 portfolios to Aoun’s Change and Reform bloc, another 10 to Hizbullah, Amal and some other March 8 parties and finally the last 10 ministers for President Michel Suleiman, the premier-designate and National Struggle Front leader MP Walid Jumblat.

“This distribution (of shares) is out of the question,” they said.

The denial came as a source close to Miqati sounded pessimistic about an early birth of the cabinet.

“Although Prime Minister (designate) Miqati is continuing his contacts in a positive atmosphere, we are not close to the government’s formation,” the source told the English-language newspaper The Daily Star.

Asked to comment on Aoun’s hint at replacing Miqati, the source said: “Miqati will not step down, come what may.”

The FPM leader has hinted that the Hizbullah-led March 8 alliance would support another person for prime minister if Miqati failed to form the government.

Sources close to Miqati told As Safir daily, however, that the premier-designate will not engage in a dispute with any side, saying all sides should show more flexibility in their demands.

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