REPORT: Hariri holds cabinet formation consultations, blocs’ demands revealed

Caretaker Prime Minister Tammam Salam declared that his meeting with Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri at the beginning of the consultations to form a new cabinet focused on previous meetings that cleared the way before an upcoming era for the Lebanese people.

Following their meeting held ahead of the official consultations, Salam said that Hariri is capable of achieving the formation of the cabinet, reiterating his continuous support for the prime minister-designate.

For his part, head of the Future bloc Fouad Siniora hoped that the new government will be capable of assuming its responsibility as expected by the Lebanese people.

“We need to form a cabinet as soon as possible and we need the cooperation of all the factions in order to facilitate the task rather than obstruct it,” he added.

In turn, MP Farid Maraki said from the Parliament that he wished Hariri success in his mission to form a new cabinet that consists of harmony between the parties, in order to restore the trust of the people in their state.

MP Anwar al-Khalil noted that the Development and Liberation bloc did not ask for any ministries, but only requested that the formation process is fair.

Prior to the consultations, Hariri held a closed meeting with Speaker Nabih Berri.

At the beginning of the second round of the consultations, a delegation from the Change and Reform bloc met with Hariri, where MP Ibrahim Kanaan declared that they called for using the National Pact as a basis for the formation of the cabinet, hoping that the ministries will be distributed according to democratic and rotational standard.

For his part, MP George Adwan, who spoke on behalf of the Lebanese Forces bloc, said that they requested one sovereign ministry, one essential service ministry and another moderate ministry.

He also stressed that the ministerial statement should be based on the swearing in speech and that the new cabinet must pledge to send a new electoral draft law to the parliament.

“We called for a cabinet of 24 ministers, that respects the constitution, is effective, in solidarity within itself and without obstruction,” he explained.

In turn, MP Michel Murr hoped after he met with Hariri accompanied by MP Nayla Tueini, that the cabinet will be formed the soonest possible, stressing the need to profit from the appropriate atmosphere. “We did not request any specific ministry.”

As for the Kataeb party, MP Samy Gemayel revealed that PM-designate Hariri asked them to participate in the government, but they will have to discuss such a decision.

“We will remain in contact with the new PM in order to facilitate this transition from the difficult condition,” he stated.

For his part, MP Talal Erslan called for an expanded government that comprises all the factions and blocs with no exceptions.

In turn, MP Sleiman Frangieh hoped that the cabinet will be formed as soon as possible, adding that they requested to be represented through an essential ministry.

“We will coordinate with Berri and Hariri in this regard,” he said, stressing that everything will return to its normal state with President Aoun once “an honest meeting” is held between them.

MP Mohammad Safadi called on all the parliamentary blocs to facilitate the mission of forming a cabinet for the sake of the people.

MP Ahmad Karami urged Hariri to form the cabinet swiftly, and discuss with him the issue of those detained following Tripoli clashes.

Also during the consultations, MP Assem Qanso called on Hariri to form a national unity cabinet that will pave the way for a new era and a national reconciliation.

“Should our presence at the Social Affairs Ministry contribute to a positive change, we are up to it,” he added.

At the end of the consultations, MP Walid Jumblatt stressed the need to “benefit from this historic moment that allowed the election of Michel Aoun as president and the designation of Hariri as prime minister.”