March 8 Reportedly Agreeing on Cabinet Shares Excluding March 14

Prime Minister Designate Najib Miqati and the March 8 forces are making strong efforts to distribute portfolios among the alliance’s members excluding the March 14 forces, An Nahar daily reported Sunday.

The newspaper said that former Minister Naji Boustani would most likely have a portfolio from President Michel Suleiman’s share in the government. Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun is also seeking to bring back Jebran Bassil and Charbel Nahhas to the cabinet, it said.

Hizbullah is still mum on its share, according to An Nahar. But Speaker Nabih Berri is seeking to give Mohammed Jawad Khalife the ministry portfolio again. His brother Mahmoud Berri and AMAL official Ali Hamdan are also potential ministers.

As for Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat, he is reportedly seeking to grant the energy ministry portfolio to the head of the Petroleum Companies in Lebanon, Bahij Abu Hamza.

March 8 circles told An Nahar, that Jumblat is most likely to get a big share in the cabinet after he nominated Miqati as premier. If so, the Druze leader’s ministers will be from other sects as well, such as MP Alaeddine Terro, a Sunni.

When asked by Voice of Lebanon radio station about the possibility of getting a portfolio, Terro said: “No one knows the cabinet line-up yet or who the ministers will be.”

All sides should facilitate the cabinet formation process, he added.

An Nahar said that another member of Jumblat’s National Struggle Front bloc, MP Nehme Tohme, who has good ties with Saudi Arabia, could get the public works portfolio.

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