| 26 May 2024, Sunday |

Cabinet formation has been delayed due to foreign constraints

Isn’t it reasonable to suppose that the bottlenecks to forming a new cabinet in Lebanon are entirely internal, and that foreign countries has nothing to do with blocking the formation?

What sane person believes Hezbollah can’t “affect” the decision of Gebran Bassil, the head of the Free Patriotic Movement, to lower the ceiling of his criterion and make government formation easier?

The party had influenced Bassil’s decisions in several earlier cases. Didn’t the latter back down from the actions he had suggested? Didn’t he back down from his threat to quit the Parliament? This retreat was planned based on the party’s “recommendation”!

This is intended to mean that the party can exert pressure on Bassil to facilitate the formation of the government if truly wants to, but won’t do so because the cabinet formation doesn’t seem to be in its interest given the foreign issues, in other terms, Iran at the Vienna negotiating table with the West on the Iranian nuclear file.

Sources close to the government formation file told Sawt Beirut International: If Hezbollah is truly seeking a new cabinet, it would have shown some real efforts. Sources also said back to a time when Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s government was formed in spring 2011, Hezbollah gave up its share of one of the Shiite ministers and named a Sunni minister, Faisal Karami, resulting in a government with seven Sunni ministers and five Shiite ministers.

“Here is an example of being a facilitator” sources conclude. Hezbollah refuses the birth of a cabinet at present, and the Free Patriotic Movement finds Hassan Diab’s government the most suitable now. So, did Najib Mikati, the Prime Minister-designate, fall victim, as the party and the movement claimed? Is it too late for him to realize that they don’t want a government?

President Mikati’s visits to Baabda Palace have become limited, and he was the one who pledged, when assigned, that he would visit Baabda Palace everyday until he agrees with the President of the Republic on the cabinet formation. Unfortunately, PM Mikati didn’t keep his promise, just as he ruined another promise when he claimed to visit Baabda only when a government formation draft is ready.

After the failure of the first two promises, what is President Mikati’s third promise?

Promises aren’t the only issue. On the one hand, there is an attraction between Washington and Paris, and on the other hand, there is an attraction between Tehran and Washington. Obviously, such an attraction is above any other promises.


  • Sawt Beirut International