Salam Refuses to Set Date to Announce New Cabinet, but 'Won't Wait Forever to Form it'

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam reiterated on Sunday that he is seeking to form a cabinet of national interest.

He also refused to set a date to announce the new government.

He made his remarks before political, popular, and economic delegations that visited his Msaytbeh residence.

“The announcement of the new government is linked to several factors and the ongoing consultations with several political powers,” he added.

He repeated that he is open to suggestions from all sides.

Salam's efforts to form a new government are ongoing as he has maintained his consultations with President Michel Suleiman and Progressive Socialist Party leader MP Walid Jumblat to that end, reported the daily An Nahar Sunday.

His visitors told the daily however that he “will not wait forever to form a new cabinet.”

Observers monitoring the government formation process said that the situation is “very critical,” with discussions focusing on the positive and negative results of Salam forming a government before the May 15 parliament session aimed at adopting a new parliamentary electoral law.

They noted that his announcement of a cabinet after this date will not alter the March 8 camp's insistence to obtain veto power in the government, which Salam has been adamant in rejecting.

He has repeatedly said that such a power will render the cabinet ineffective.

The head of Hizbullah's Loyalty to the Resistance bloc MP Mohammed Raad denied on Saturday that the March 8 coalition's demand was aimed at paralyzing the new government.

“It is our right to be represented in it according to our parliamentary weight. This is a moral, practical and constitutional right,” he declared.

The latest discussions over the formation of the cabinet have focused on the distribution of power, with Salam insisting that the March 8 camp be granted eight ministers.

This includes having the AMAL and Hizbullah parties naming the four Shiite ministers, while the fifth one will be named by someone who is not part of this alliance, such as President Michel Suleiman, reported the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat Sunday.

Speaker Nabih Berri had reportedly objected to this proposal and suggested instead that if another side, besides AMAL and Hizbullah, were to name the fifth Shiite minister, then he should be entitled to name the fifth Sunni minister in cabinet.

He will then be included as an additional member of the March 8 camp's eight-member bloc, should Salam's proposal of a 24-minister cabinet be adopted.

Al-Hayat said that the premier-designate had rejected Berri's suggestion, saying that it is a veiled attempt to obtain veto power.

Salam had instead agreed that Berri name the fifth Shiite minister in the alliance's eight-minister bloc.

The remaining three ministers will be named by Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun.

The PM-designate reportedly also did not oppose that the speaker name a Sunni minister in cabinet, on condition that he part of the March 8 camp's portion of the government.

Salam had repeatedly said that he advocates the formation of a 24-minister government that sees the equal distribution of portfolios between the March 8, March 14, and centrist camps, whereby each side would be granted eight ministers.

Comments 5
Missing peace 12 May 2013, 11:12

whether they designate salam as PM and trust him thus they should not demand a veto power or they do not trust him and say it out clearly and designate someone else....
what is the purpose of designating a PM if they want veto power to block anything as soon as it does not suit their agenda?
what is the purpose of having a gvt if it is to block it each time one does not agree?
is that their idea of a state? block it anytime it does not suit you?
what is the purpose of holding elections if the results do not please you and you make any gvt fail just out of pride?

they had better seize power by force designate a dictator wa khalassna ba'a instead of that hypocrisy!

Missing peace 12 May 2013, 14:08

" Democracy tammam, is what the people have chosen"

so why did M8 take by force the hariri gvt as the results of last elections should have let him stay in power till the next elections...democracy mean to RESPECT the outcoming of the elections, like it or not till the next ones when you can change by voting not by the threat of arms...
your concept of democracy is very strange.....

Missing peace 12 May 2013, 16:13

he threatened jumblatt to use its arms if he didn t switch sides.... which then made the deposal legal AFTERWARDS but..... after jumblatt was threatened.... lol!

Default-user-icon Tentolosso Boquandy (Guest) 12 May 2013, 21:08

With the clueless gutless puppet Salam joining forces with the good-for-nothing corrupt president-by-parachute, may God bless him and extend his term and our days of glory with him as president forever, you can rest assured that Salam will end up visiting his mom once again to kiss her hardly before he heads home and stay there while the good-for-nothing corrupt president-by-parachute single-handedly continues his Herculean mission of continuing to remove the darned zeer from the darned beer.

Thumb LebDinosaur 12 May 2013, 23:38

Enough already. Get on with it and pick that government which will be there for only 3 months anyways.
You're afraid to hurt Hezb's feelings? How about the rest of the Lebanese's feelings?