Suleiman Meets Salam over Cabinet Formation, Jumblat Reiterates Support for Inclusive Gov't

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The Prime Minister-designate has “no comments” on Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah's latest statement on the formation of the council of ministers, sources close to Tammam Salam told al-Manar television on Saturday.

Salam had met earlier in the day with President Michel Suleiman at Baabda palace to discuss the ongoing consultations over the cabinet's formation.

In a speech he gave on Friday, Nasrallah said: “There is no such thing as a neutral cabinet in Lebanon as there are no longer any neutral candidates.”

The Shiite leader also warned against the formation of a de facto government, saying: “We do not advise anyone to take such a step.”

He therefore suggested the formation of a national unity government, which “will ensure Lebanon's salvation.”

In a related matter, Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat told al-Manar that he supports the formation of an inclusive cabinet, endorsing also a 9-9-6 formula.

Jumblat stated as well that the parliament must convene within constitutional deadlines to elect a new president.

“Vacuum is the most dangerous thing we can get to,” the National Struggle Front head warned according to al-Manar, stating his rejection to extending the head of the state's mandate.

Meanwhile, caretaker Prime Minister Najib Miqati's sources told the Hizbullah-affiliated TV station that he wants a cabinet in which all factions participate, “not one that worsens the situation in the country.”

Speaker Nabih Berri praised Nasrallah's statement on the council of ministers, saying that it is similar to his own stance and warning of a de facto cabinet.

As well, sources close to Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun told the same source that the Change and Reform bloc head demands the formation of a national unity cabinet.

"Aoun is against vacuum and mandate extension," they added.

Commenting on the 2014 presidential election, the Hizbullah chief remarked on Friday: “We cannot emphasize enough the importance of having a new president on May 25, 2014.”

Comments 2
Thumb lebanon_first 21 December 2013, 20:45

The issue is not 9 9 6 or 8 8 8. The issue is the ministerial statement.
Will the ministerial statement mention the so called resistance?

Or will the soveregnists succeed in making a ministerial statement that dodges the issue and goes with something more open to interpretation?

Missing watan-libnan 22 December 2013, 14:52

Why doesn't everyone stop talking and start doing!!!