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Government Formation

Hezbollah, the FPM and Amal have agreed on the sectarian makeup of a cabinet, Nasrallah says

Hezbollah, the FPM and Amal have agreed on the sectarian makeup of a cabinet, Nasrallah says

Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah. (Credit: AFP)

BEIRUT — Hezbollah, the Amal Movement and the Free Patriotic Movement have agreed on the sectarian makeup of a 24-minister government, Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah said during a televised speech Friday.

Details on how the ministries will be distributed are still being discussed, Nasrallah said, adding that he hoped the agreement would help a new government be formed soon.

Nasrallah’s announcement follows a call from the FPM’s head, Gebran Bassil, for the Hezbollah leader to intervene to break a deadlock between President Michel Aoun, the FPM’s founder and Bassil’s father-in-law, and Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri over the cabinet’s composition.

Lebanon has been without a fully empowered government for more than 10 months, since caretaker Premier Hassan Diab resigned in the wake of the Aug. 4 Beirut port explosion.

The agreement Nasrallah said has been reached by the three parties is in line with an “initiative” launched by Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri to push for the government’s formation.

Bassil, who has met with Wafiq Safa, a top Hezbollah official, several times in recent weeks, had previously rejected Berri’s proposal, saying during a speech on Sunday that it amounted to dividing ministers into three, eight-member blocs each for Christians, Sunnis and Shiites. He said this would leave Christians with eight ministers compared with 16 ministers for Muslims, diverging from the principle of power sharing between Christians and Muslims.

Nasrallah said that dividing cabinet posts along these lines was not on the table and was simply rumor.

Addressing the ongoing fuel crisis that has led to huge lines outside gas stations, the Hezbollah leader reiterated his party’s readiness to bring Iranian fuel to Lebanon, regardless of whether it would cause problems with the United States.


BEIRUT — Hezbollah, the Amal Movement and the Free Patriotic Movement have agreed on the sectarian makeup of a 24-minister government, Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah said during a televised speech Friday.Details on how the ministries will be distributed are still being discussed, Nasrallah said, adding that he hoped the agreement would help a new government be formed soon. ...