Report: Efforts to Form New Government ongoing despite Low Expectations

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Caretaker Social Affairs Minister Wael Abou Faour has maintained efforts to form a new government in light of his recent trip to Saudi Arabia where he held talks with former Premier Saad Hariri and a number of Saudi officials, reported al-Joumhouria newspaper on Saturday.

Sources monitoring his talks with Hariri said that “all obstacles leading to the solution over the government deadlock remain.”

“None of the proposals that were discussed could yield the desired solution and the formation of a government” they revealed.

They instead revealed that the rival March 8 and 14 camps have stuck to their conditions, further complicating the formation efforts.

Abou Faour, of Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat's National Struggle Front, followed up on his Saudi Arabia trip with talks in Lebanon with Speaker Nabih Berri's political aide caretaker Health Minister Ali Hassan Khalil.

Despite the low expectations, reported al-Joumhouria, Berri and Jumblat will continue their efforts to overcome the conditions set by the rival parties.

It said that Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam is likely to embark on a new round of talks with President Michel Suleiman in order to schedule his future consultations with political powers.

Salam had said on Thursday that government formation discussions were still focusing on the first stage of the division of seats among the March 8 alliance, March 14 coalition, and centrists.

He stressed that he holds on to his decision not to grant 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.

The alliance had been demanding that it be given veto power in a new cabinet, which has been a major obstacle in the formation process.

Salam had repeatedly denied that a government with veto power will render it unproductive.

The March 14 camp has meanwhile been demanding the formation of a neutral cabinet.

Comments 1
Thumb mckinl 29 June 2013, 11:54

Salam might as well resign. There is no hope of a compromise. This is the way M14 wants it, the further destabilization of Lebanon on KSA orders.