Eyes Turned to Baabda as Suleiman Moves to End Cabinet Crisis

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Baabda palace officials denied that President Michel Suleiman was seeking to form a de facto cabinet along with Premier-designate Tammam Salam but confirmed that he would take action before the end of his term in May next year.

In remarks to An Nahar daily published on Saturday, the officials said that Suleiman will take into consideration the regional and local situation before taking any action on the government crisis.

It would come at the appropriate time, they said.

“Had Suleiman wanted the formation of a fait accompli cabinet, he would have already done so, but he is keen on … exerting all efforts to agree on an all-embracing government which assumes its responsibilities and receives the parliament’s vote of confidence,” the officials, who were not identified, said.

They told An Nahar that there are discussions on the constitutionality of the move that Suleiman intends to make, saying the constitution has an article on handing over the authorities of the president to the caretaking cabinet.

In response to Hizbullah threats that the party's ministers would not hand the ministries to their successors if there was a de facto cabinet, the officials said the new officials would assume responsibilities without the handing over ceremony.

Hizbullah MP Mohammed Raad hinted lately that the party would not hand any portfolio to any new minister in a cabinet which “lacks political backing.”

Hizbullah has been calling for the formation of a government in which the March 8 and 14 alliances would get nine ministers each and neutrals six ministers.

However, such a line-up is rejected by the March 14 alliance.

Media reports said the party has launched a campaign against the president over fears that he would form a fait accompli cabinet along with Salam and over accusations that he has entered the Saudi sphere of influence.

But the Baabda palace officials denied that such accusations against Suleiman have taken place.

“This is a fictions campaign,” they told An Nahar.

Suleiman met with caretaker Prime Minister Najib Miqati on Friday to discuss the cabinet crisis.

Sources told al-Joumhouria that the president and Miqati agreed to give up efforts to hold cabinet sessions, stressing the importance of forming the new cabinet to guarantee the revival of constitutional institutions.

Comments 4
Thumb mckinl 14 December 2013, 09:27

"Suleiman Moves to End Cabinet Crisis"

Really? I couldn't find any solution to the cabinet crisis in this article from Suleiman or anybody else for that matter.

Thumb cedars2 14 December 2013, 11:53

Rofl ice man

Thumb magnum357 14 December 2013, 16:30

I would vote for wiam wahab to be the next space conqueror, he certainly fits the description!

Thumb cedars2 14 December 2013, 16:44

Now theres a good chimp