Report: Berri Rebuffs Energy Portfolio but Cares for Finance

With the formation of Lebanon's new government arises the differences between political parties over the distribution of governmental portfolios.

Speaker Nabih Berri said that he has ambitions to be granted the finance ministry portfolio, as he assured that he does not want the ministry of energy even it it was given to him on a silver plate, al-Akhbar daily reported on Friday.

“No one asked me if I want the ministry of energy. But even if it was suggested to me, I don’t want it. As for the ministry of finance it is another matter,” he told the daily.

“The energy issue and the oil wealth file are not a question of the minister. I will not accept any act with regard to the energy and oil file without a national body to preserve this wealth and form a national sovereign fund at the Central Bank to benefit from the oil revenues and pay off the public debt,” stressed Berri.

Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri was formally tasked with forming the new government after he received a sweeping majority of 116 votes in the binding parliamentary consultations.

Hariri will begin consultations on Friday and Saturday with the parliamentary bloc to arrive at a decision on how to distribute the government portfolios.

Hariri's key support had contributed to the election of Aoun as Lebanon's 13th president on Monday, which ended around two and a half years of presidential and political vacuum.

Source: Naharnet

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