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Mustaqbal: Forming New Govt. Ends Problem of Renewing Salameh’s Term

The Mustaqbal bloc stressed on Tuesday the need to form a new government, saying that it is the best way to solve the problem of the impending vacancy in the Central Bank governor position.

It said in a statement after its weekly meeting headed by former Premier Fouad Saniora: “Until a Cabinet is formed, no authority can appoint itself as a substitute for another authority seeing as that would be a constitutional violation.”

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Aoun: June 8 Parliamentary Session is Constitutional

Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun announced on Tuesday that progress has been achieved in the government formation process, adding however that he does not understand the reasons for the ongoing delay in the formation.

He said after the movement’s weekly meeting: “I have stated before that there is a conspiracy to obstruct the authority in Lebanon.”

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U.S. Embassy Celebrates Completion of Sin el-Fil Official School Renovation

Sin el-Fil Official School held on Tuesday a ceremony in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy’s Office of Defense Cooperation after the completion of renovation that cost more than $200,000.

During the opening ceremony, U.S. ambassador Maura Connelly stressed on the importance of education and being able to provide a safe and healthy place to learn.

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Hoax Bomb Threat Causes Panic at Justice Ministry, Judges Threatened

The Justice Ministry building in Beirut was partially evacuated on Tuesday after a bomb threat that turned out to be a hoax, the state-run National News Agency reported.

The Internal Security Forces searched the building using sniffer dogs but found no bomb. The threat caused panic, however.

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Traffic Back to Normal Near Wardieh Gas Station, Toll Revised

Security forces on Tuesday reopened the road where a deadly fuel tank explosion ripped through a gas station near Beirut’s Adliyeh area a day earlier.

Television footage showed traffic was back to normal at the road after removal of debris.

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March 14 Accuses Berri of Seeking to Widen Dispute with March 8

The March 14 forces are accusing Speaker Nabih Berri of seeking to revive the confrontation between them and the March 8 coalition by insisting on holding a parliamentary session on Wednesday.

An Nahar daily on Tuesday quoted March 14 parliamentary sources as saying that Berri’s “unconstitutional” move would pave way for a bigger conflict than the existing dispute between the two sides.

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Berri Says Dispute over Parliament Session Reflects ‘Veiled Dictatorship’

Speaker Nabih Berri said that he was surprised by the “fabricated” campaign against him, denying that he was after personal gains by insisting on holding a parliamentary session on Wednesday, As Safir reported on Tuesday.

He hinted that the dispute between the March 8 and 14 forces over the parliamentary session reflects the mentality of the “Emirate” that al-Mustaqbal movement officials have, which endangers the future of the democratic system and its institutions in Lebanon.

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Aoun Seeks Confirmation that Cabinet Deal is Final before Giving Miqati List of Candidates

Caretaker Energy Minister Jebran Bassil stressed that the Change and Reform bloc wants a confirmation from Premier-designate Najib Miqati that a deal on the cabinet makeup was final before giving him a list of names of its candidates for the new cabinet.

Bassil, who is Free Patriotic Movement chief Michel Aoun’s son-in-law, told An Nahar daily published Tuesday that the bloc “is waiting for the final confirmation of the agreement reached” between the different parties.

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New Cabinet Hurdle Lies in Kesrouan-Jbeil amid Confrontation between Aoun and Suleiman

A major hurdle preventing the formation of the new cabinet began surfacing this week after Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun insisted that the candidate for the second Maronite minister, part of President Michel Suleiman’s share, should not be from Jbeil and Kesrouan.

Beirut newspapers quoted informed sources as saying on Tuesday that for election reasons, Aoun is refusing that the sixth Maronite minister in the cabinet be from Jbeil and Kesrouan for fears that Suleiman would undercut the FPM chief’s popular base in the two regions in the parliamentary elections in 2013.

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Report: Nasrallah and Aoun Discuss Cabinet Formation

Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and Free Patriotic Movement chief Michel Aoun have held talks in an attempt to end the government impasse, al-Liwaa daily reported Tuesday.

According to the newspaper, Nasrallah intentionally did not address local issues during the opening session of an intellectual conference on Iran’s Supreme Leader Sayyed Ali Khamenei in Beirut on Monday.

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