Hariri hopes for speedy Lebanon govt. formation after concessions made

Press TV – Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri says all political sides have made concessions on their demands for posts in the next Cabinet, expressing hope that a new government would be formed after President Michel Aoun returns from a trip abroad.

“The economic situation requires everyone to compromise a bit for the sake of the country,” Hariri said before heading into a meeting of his Future Movement parliamentary bloc in Beirut on Tuesday.

“The current situation prompted everyone to make compromises, including the Lebanese Forces and Free Patriotic Movement, and all the complications are on the way to be resolved,” he pointed out.

Aoun is scheduled to travel to Armenia on Wednesday, and is expected to be back in Lebanon Friday.

Hariri further noted that there has been a change in the proposed Cabinet line-up, but did not give additional details.

“The only criterion that I am following in the formation of the government is forming a national entente Cabinet. The moment we set standards for the government formation, we will bind ourselves. Setting a standard is neither constitutional nor a norm,” he commented.

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 Parliament Speaker Nabih 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.

Hariri had 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.