Interior Portfolio Emerges as Main Govt. Formation Obstacle

The issue of who will get the interior portfolio in the new government has emerged as the main obstacle in the renewed cabinet formation process, most newspapers reported on Thursday.

“The issue is not limited to a single portfolio and the general distribution of portfolios is still being discussed,” informed sources told al-Liwaa newspaper.

“The interior portfolio is the mother of all obstacles,” the sources added.

The daily also noted that Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil has revealed that President Michel Aoun has repeatedly demanded to be allocated the interior portfolio -- which will oversee the upcoming parliamentary elections.

Al-Liwaa added that there is also no agreement on the justice portfolio.

“The preliminary format submitted by (PM-designate Najib) Miqati included the allocation of the interior portfolio to a Sunni and the defense portfolio to a Christian, which means a return to what (resigned PM-designate Saad) Hariri had proposed and was rejected by Aoun, who insisted on interior, justice and defense at the time,” the daily said.

It however noted that the Aoun-Miqati meeting on Wednesday “did not witness any tensions” although the President “asked for some changes to the line-up.”

Source: Naharnet

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