Miqati Continues Consultations with All Parties and Prepares 2 Draft Cabinet Line-ups

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Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati is reportedly preparing two draft cabinet line-ups – one includes March 14 ministers along with the Hizbullah-led alliance and the other is only made up of March 8 figures.

Miqati visited President Michel Suleiman on Tuesday night and informed him about his consultations with the different parties on the formation of the cabinet.

He met with Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblat at his residence in Verdun and discussed with him the distribution of portfolios.

As Safir daily said that Miqati also held talks with MP Asaad Hardan, the head of the Syrian Social National Party.

The consultations between Miqati and different political parties are taking place as the advisors of the Hizbullah leader and the speaker mediated between the premier-designate and Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun to facilitate the cabinet formation process.

Pan-Arab daily al-Hayat said Caretaker Energy Minister Jebran Bassil met with Miqati and later held talks with Hussein Khalil and Ali Hassan Khalil, the advisors of Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and Speaker Nabih Berri.

The meetings, however, weren’t able to find a common ground yet because the FPM insists on getting the interior ministry portfolio which was part of President Michel Suleiman’s share in Caretaker Premier Saad Hariri’s cabinet.

As part of Miqati’s meetings with the March 14 forces and their possible participation in the government, Caretaker Labor Minister Butros Harb told As Safir that he and Phalange party leader Amin Gemayel have reiterated to the premier-designate that the coalition would either participate as a single alliance or won’t take part at all in the cabinet.

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