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21 October 2018 - 13:06
News ID: 441148
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Daily newspaper:
Rasa - A Lebanese daily newspaper says a positive political momentum heralding formation of a new unity government in the Arab country has suffered a serious setback and instilled fears that the new obstacles could further delay the line-up.
Supporters of Lebanon’s Hezbollah wave Hezbollah and Lebanese flags in Ansar village, southern Lebanon, on March 6, 2016. (Photo by Reuters)

RNA - “The unfortunate development was surprising. It was embodied in the political positions of some (parties) over the distribution of ministerial portfolios,” Arabic-language al-Joumhouria daily wrote on Saturday.

 

The report came in the wake of strong opposition from President Michel Aoun, the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) led by Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil as well as the Hezbollah resistance movement that a candidate from the Lebanese Forces political party should be in charge of the justice ministry.

 

However, an unnamed senior official assured that “efforts to form a cabinet did not go in vain despite uncertainty. It will only be delayed for a few more days because the decision is taken and it will be formed before the end of this month.”

 

Caretaker Information Minister Melhem Riachi of the Lebanese Forces warned on Friday that some parties were seeking to undermine Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri's latest efforts to resolve the political deadlock in Lebanon.

 

Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said late on Tuesday that the cabinet deadlock was making progress “but is not over.”

 

“I can say that there is progress, and [it will be formed] soon hopefully,” Berri told Lebanese expatriates at a dinner hosted by the Lebanese Embassy in the Swiss city of Geneva.

 

Lebanon's first parliamentary vote in nine years was held on May 6, with over 500 candidates vying for seats. Turnout was 49.2 percent, according to officials.

 

According to official results, Hezbollah and its political allies secured over half the seats.

 

Hezbollah as well as groups and individuals affiliated to it won at least 67 seats in Lebanon’s parliament, according to the results cited by politicians and campaigns and reported in Lebanese media.

 

Hezbollah's allies include the Amal Movement led by Berri and the Christian Free Patriotic Movement founded by Aoun.

 

The parliamentary seats are split evenly -- 64 for Christians and 64 for Muslims, including Druze, with the two halves further divided among 11 religious groups.

 

According to Press TV, Hariri has called on political parties to “show modesty” in their demands regarding the new government, emphasizing that he is not responsible for the serious delay.

 

“They are blaming me for the delay whereas each party is clinging to its stances and demands,” he told reporters on August 7 ahead of a meeting for the Future Movement parliamentary bloc.

 

“Everyone must display modesty and sacrifice for the sake of the country,” Hariri said.

 

Political rivalry led to years of governmental paralysis in Lebanon, and the country did not produce a state budget from 2005 until last year. 

 

The International Monetary Fund has said that Lebanon must urgently address its fiscal policy in order to sustain its high levels of public debt.

 

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