Hariri May Submit New Line-Up amid Efforts by Berri, al-Rahi


Contacts over the formation of the new cabinet resumed slowly over the past hours and may gain steam with the return of PM-designate Saad Hariri to Beirut, media reports said.

Speaker Nabih Berri communicated with Hariri and the Free Patriotic Movement after the latest parliamentary session and the two sides showed some "flexibility," al-Joumhouria newspaper quoted "credible sources" as saying in remarks published Tuesday.

"It was agreed to hold subsequent meetings and contacts on the hope that they may translate that flexibility and lead to an agreement on a government based on the Speaker's initiative," the sources said.

Berri's initiative calls for the formation of a 24-seat government without a one-third-plus-one share for any camp. The sources added that the obstacle revolving around the two additional Christian ministers might find a "consensual" solution.

Other sources meanwhile told the Nidaa al-Watan newspaper that Berri is waiting for Hariri to return to Beirut to urge him to submit a new 24-minister line-up.

The daily added that Hariri had recently promised Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi that he would submit a new line-up, which prompted the latter to remind him of that in his Sunday sermon.

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