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Bassil weighs in on cabinet formation, Parliament speaker appointment

Bassil weighs in on cabinet formation, Parliament speaker appointment

Free Patriotic Movement leader Gebran Bassil. (Credit: AFP archive)

BEIRUT – Free Patriotic Movement head Gebran Bassil urged Friday for the “formation of a new government as quickly as possible and to leave the presidential election for its own time and circumstances,” during a speech given at a party rally.

Here’s what we know:

    • “The intention to not form a government is palpable … we want a prime minister that is approved of by his sect and not from external influence and whose position on Riad Salameh and the Finance Minister is clear,” Bassil continued.

    • Bassil’s speech began by addressing, first “those whose dreams [the FPM] were unable to accomplish because ‘the institution’ overpowered them,” and second to those “who thought they could remove the FPM, and [him] personally.”

    • Commenting on parliamentary election results Bassil said, “We’ve won, but what can we do with the victory with our country in danger, it is our collective responsibility to rescue it and no one can rule alone?” The FPM secured 17 seats in the new parliament, a dozen less than in the previous parliament.

    • The FPM head called for “internal discussions before we’re called on to participate in conferences abroad regarding defense strategy, the refugee situation, borders and gas.” Addressing his bloc's opponents, he said, "Put out of your heads the idea of ​​federalism and partition, and Syria will remain our neighbor."

    • Bassil expressed a readiness to deconfessionalize the state but asserted that “now is not the right time” to do so.

    • The FPM head presented the possibility of having “other candidates for the position of Parliament Speaker,” which has long been held by Amal Movement head Nabih Berri. Earlier the same day Berri rejected claims that there was a deal between him and the FPM to ensure his re-election.



BEIRUT – Free Patriotic Movement head Gebran Bassil urged Friday for the “formation of a new government as quickly as possible and to leave the presidential election for its own time and circumstances,” during a speech given at a party rally.Here’s what we know:    • “The intention to not form a government is palpable … we want a prime minister that is approved of by his...