Salam Rejects Veto Power in New Cabinet, Says it Equals Paralysis

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Premier-designate Tammam Salam has rejected an alleged request by Hizbullah and the Free Patriotic Movement to give them veto power in the new government, hinting that they were seeking to paralyze the cabinet before its formation.

In remarks to An Nahar daily published Sunday, Salam criticized the request for veto power, saying “no matter what their excuses are, those demanding it are talking about obstruction even before the formation of the cabinet, which should instead be doing everything it can to benefit the nation.”

He rejected excuses that veto power provides them with certain guarantees, saying “I am personally the guarantee to prevent any harm to any national issue.”

Salam confirmed reports that a 24-member cabinet in which the Hizbullah-led March 8 alliance, the March 14 coalition and the centrists would each get 8 ministers was among several other proposals made to parliamentary blocs.

But he said he was waiting for clarification from the different parties on their stance from such a government.

The PM-designate has also slammed attempts to link the cabinet formation with an agreement on a new electoral law, several officials who visited him said.

“What if the new vote law does not witness light in a year? Would the country stay without a cabinet?” Salam allegedly wondered.

Meanwhile, National Struggle Front bloc member, MP Akram Shehayyeb, accused Hizbullah and the FPM without naming them of having a “huge appetite.”

“There is a clear process to paralyze the formation of the government,” Shehayyeb, who is a centrist, said.

“It seems that the electoral law is far-fetched and the party that is paralyzing (the formation of the cabinet) doesn’t want the elections (to take place), which is reflecting negatively” on Salam's mission, he added.

But caretaker Minister Ali Qanso defended the March 8 alliance, denying that it had asked for veto power in the new government.

“The coalition in general and FPM in particular want to have a representation similar to their parliamentary weight - around 45 percent,” he said.

Comments 2
Thumb jcamerican 05 May 2013, 08:44

What a stupid country. Any little decision takes a century to achieve.

Thumb geha 05 May 2013, 08:45

m8 will not allow a new cabinet or a new parliament. that would mean a major power shift: they would lose badly in any elections in light of hizbushaitan involvement in Syria.
why would anyone expect them to accept?
we are heading towards a civil war fast: it is the only way out for hizbushaitan to keep the status quo.