Dim Hopes of Cabinet Formation Soon as Suleiman, Aoun Hold Onto Interior Ministry

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

President Michel Suleiman and Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun were still at loggerheads on Sunday over the interior ministry portfolio and the Change and Reform bloc chief’s insistence to name most of the Christian ministers.

While Premier-designate Najib Miqati stressed he was keen on the constitution and balance of power, there were dim hopes of forming a cabinet soon amid the bickering between Suleiman and Aoun.

Miqati’s visitors quoted the prime minister-designate as saying he will make every effort to form a government that satisfies the Lebanese but stressed he won’t let the time limit set for himself to be open-ended.

The visitors told An Nahar daily that Miqati wants to form the cabinet as soon as possible but he is keen on the constitution and is vowing not to encroach on state institutions, the law, balance and diversity.

However, pan-Arab daily al-Hayat quoted Suleiman as saying that he is holding onto the interior ministry and his representation in the government.

His visitors told the newspaper that Suleiman has vowed not to sign a cabinet decree that “does not respect coexistence and harmony in representation.”

An Nahar said that Speaker Nabih Berri and Miqati contacted Aoun to wish him a happy birthday on Saturday. Berri reportedly asked Aoun about rumors that he would get the foreign instead of the interior ministry and in return the speaker would get the defense portfolio.

The speaker stressed to the FPM leader that the foreign portfolio will remain as part of his share in the new cabinet, the newspaper said ,hinting that Berri is also holding onto the foreign ministry and further complicating the task of Miqati to resolve the interior portfolio’s problem.

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