Jumblat Holds Onto 9-9-6 Formula, Won't Give Cover to De Facto Cabinet

Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat reiterated that he was holding onto the formation of an all-embracing cabinet in which each of the rival camps would get nine ministers and centrists six.

“I am holding onto my stance in forming a consensual government based on the 9-9-6 formula,” Jumblat, a centrist, told As Safir daily published on Monday.

“I don't want to go into more details now,” he said.

Jumblat's comments came after he held talks with President Michel Suleiman at Baabda Palace on Saturday.

He described the talks as “good,” saying discussions focused on several issues, mainly the cabinet deadlock.

As Safir said that the PSP chief, who is also the head of the National Struggle Front bloc, told Suleiman that the nation's interest lies in forming the all-embracing cabinet in coordination with Hizbullah and Speaker Nabih Berri.

The daily quoted him as saying that the lawmakers of his bloc would not give their vote of confidence to any fait accompli cabinet whether it was made up of neutral personalities or not.

“I will not give political cover to it,” Jumblat reportedly said.

Recent reports have said that Suleiman and Premier-designate Tammam Salam were seeking to form a de facto government.

Salam was appointed in April but he has accused the March 8 and 14 alliances of blocking the formation of his cabinet over the conditions that they have set.

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