Al-Rahi Urges Resolving Obstacles Delaying Cabinet, New Electoral Law

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi called Sunday for facilitating the formation of the new government and for passing a new electoral law for parliamentary polls.

The political forces must “resolve the obstacles that are hindering the formation of the government and must approve a new law for parliamentary elections to pave the way for restoring normalcy in state institutions,” al-Rahi said during his Sunday Mass sermon.

The patriarch is expected to accompany Marada Movement chief MP Suleiman Franjieh to a meeting with President Michel Aoun on Monday.

Al-Rahi’s initiative might mend ties between Aoun and Franjieh and contribute to a quick formation of the new cabinet.

Franjieh’s demand to get a key ministerial portfolio is one of the main declared obstacles that are delaying the formation of the new cabinet.

Franjieh has announced that Marada will not join the new cabinet if it does not get one of three so-called important portfolios – public works, energy or telecommunications.

Speaker Nabih Berri Berri, who is negotiating on behalf of the Hizbullah-led March 8 forces, has backed Franjieh’s demand and insisted that Marada should be represented in the government with an important portfolio.