Beirut- Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri said on Sunday there is a “race” on the ministerial portfolios as efforts mounted to announce the creation of the new cabinet before the Nov. 22 Independence Day by removing the obstacles facing the government lineup.
The hurdles are mainly linked to the different requests made by Lebanon’s main political parties.
Asked about the latest developments on the cabinet formation, Hariri said during his participation on Sunday at a marathon held in Beirut: “In the government lineup, there is also a marathon. They are competing on portfolios.”
Several political and religious leaders are calling for the quick formation of the new government.
Hariri was nominated on Nov. 3 to form the next government after the parliament’s election of President Michel Aoun, ending a vacuum of more than two years.
During his Sunday sermon, Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi called on the formation of a new government in line with the National Pact and before Independence Day.
Head of the Lebanese Forces Samir Geagea also said that the party’s representation in the next cabinet will be balanced, promising to wage war on corruption.
Geagea said three obstacles are preventing the formation of the government – notably some parties are unaccustomed to the good governance of the presidency, some sides do not recognize the alliance between the LF and Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement, and some other parties are not welcoming the participation of the LF in the cabinet.
However, Geagea said he was optimistic vis-à-vis the government’s formation, noting that Lebanon will face a new reality, especially that the political equation and political practice have changed.
Also on Sunday, during an oath ceremony held by the party in Byblos, president of the Kataeb Sami Gemayel hoped “Aoun will surprise us with his heroic positions by not allowing any team to monopolize Lebanon’s foreign decisions, which should be only decided by the state.”