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Lebanon: Patriarch Rai Calls on Political Blocs to Facilitate Government Formation - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Beirut- Lebanon’s Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rai called on political blocs to facilitate the formation of a new government, a month after leaders failed to reach an agreement over a cabinet lineup.

The main obstacle hindering the birth of a new cabinet is linked to the share of MP Suleiman Franjieh, whose party wants a weighty portfolio. The two Shiite parties represented by Speaker Nabih Berri and the so-called Hezbollah insist that their ally, Franjieh, gets a weighty portfolio such as the Health or the Telecommunication ministries.

Franjieh’s camp asserted on Sunday the presence of such an obstacle. The Marada Movement’s media officer Suleiman Franjieh said President Michel Aoun should invite head of the Marada Movement, MP Suleiman Franjieh to visit the Baabda Palace and reach a suitable solution for the ongoing crisis.

In an interview with a local radio, the media officer said: “The problem remains inside the Christian camp. We ask for a weighty ministry, and we reject the logic of veto.”

In light of the difficulties Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri face while forming his new government, Maronite Patriarch Rai said on Sunday during the mass service in Bkirki he was concerned regarding the delay in the formation of the government, which should be a unifier and capable of acting in accordance with the national pact and the Constitution. 

Rahi said the socio-economic and national situations could not progress well in an environment of injustice and absence of freedom in favor of personal and partisan interests.

Meanwhile, former President Michel Suleiman called on political leaders to start drafting a modern parliamentary elections law and to form a committee that would annul political sectarianism in the country. “We do not aim to annul sects, but to abolish sectarianism,” he said on Sunday during a two-day workshop in Beirut.

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Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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