Salam Stalling Formation of Cabinet until Electoral Dispute Resolved

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Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam said on Monday that he is considering the alternatives before announcing the formation of his cabinet as he can't take a final decision ahead of the results reached by the parliamentary subcommittee.

“I am giving the parliamentary blocs and the electoral subcommittee the chance to reach an agreement over the electoral law before I take any decisive stance,” Salam said in comments published in As Safir newspaper.

He pointed out that he is waiting for the final decision taken by the electoral subcommittee to base on it his stance.

“I can't take a decision before I know the results reached by the rival parties either to extend the mandate of the parliament, agree on an electoral law or carry out the polls based on the 1960 electoral law,” Salam said.

The parliament's electoral subcommittee has been holding consecutive meetings since last week under the auspices of Speaker Nabih Berri in an attempt to reach consensus over an electoral law.

But the rival lawmakers failed on Saturday to reach consensus on a new law, suggesting the extension of the legislature’s mandate.

Berri gave the MPs until Monday to bring their responses on the timeframe of the extension of parliament's mandate.

Concerning the distribution of portfolios in his cabinet, Salam said that he is holding onto the 24-member cabinet as it creates balance between the rivals and achieves the required balance between the political powers in the country.

Salam is seeking the formation of a 24-member cabinet in which the Hizbullah-led March 8 alliance, the March 14 coalition and the centrists would each get 8 ministers.

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