Report: Government Formation Faces Saudi Hurdlesإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam has revealed that his cabinet formation efforts haven't yet made progress as reportedly an envoy of Progressive Socialist Party chief Walid Jumblat returned from Saudi Arabia empty handed.
Salam told several local dailies published Thursday that strong efforts were being exerted in the cabinet formation process despite the lack of a solution so far.
He said he was hoping all the political parties would cooperate with him in his mission.
But Salam reiterated that it was up to Speaker Nabih Berri and Jumblat to play a major role in that regard after they promised him to overcome all the obstacles preventing a new government line-up.
The PM-designate denied that he had a draft of names that will be given portfolios, saying discussions were still focusing on the first stage of division of seats among the three major parties – the March 8 alliance, the March 14 coalition and the centrists.
Salam stressed that he holds onto his decision not to give veto power to any side, saying the representation of the March 8 alliance in the government according to its parliamentary weight leads to the same result.
But caretaker Energy Minister Jebran Bassil, who is a Free Patriotic Movement official that is a major component of March 8, denied asking for veto power.
“We are demanding to be represented in accordance with our parliamentary weight,” he told As Safir daily.
Aoun also told al-Akhbar newspaper that the FPM was asking for six ministers.
Meanwhile, As Safir said that Caretaker Minister Wael Abu Faour, who had visited Saudi Arabia with a call for putting together a government as soon as possible to avert a further deterioration in the security situation, returned to Beirut with several obstacles.
The newspaper quoted several other envoys that had visited Riyadh earlier without naming them as saying that the Saudi authorities were mulling keeping the caretaker cabinet led by Najib Miqati until further notice.
Other options includes giving veto power to both the March 8 and 14 alliances although such a choice is ruled out given Saudi Arabia's rejection to hand Hizbullah and its March 8 allies more authorities.
A third proposal includes forming a de facto government despite Jumblat's rejection of such a choice over his call for an all-embracing cabinet, the envoys said.
And the final scenario lies in Salam's decision to step down after he gave himself a certain timeframe to form the government, the envoys added.