No gov’t in Lebanon without Sunni MPs: Hezbollah chief

No gov’t in Lebanon without Sunni MPs: Hezbollah chief

Hezbollah seeks representation of Sunni lawmakers in the next government

By Wassim Samih Seifeddine

BEIRUT (AA) – Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah has called on Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri to cede a seat in the new cabinet to a Sunni ally or renegotiate the government formation.

“Hezbollah is proud of independent Sunni deputies or deputies of the March 8 camp,” Nasrallah said in a televised speech late Saturday.

“We want them to be represented in the government,” he stressed.

Hariri has struggled to form a new government in Lebanon following the May 6 parliamentary election.

Hezbollah insists on the representation of six Sunni opposition MPs in the new government, while Hariri argued that the six deputies had run in the polls under the umbrella of political blocs that already got their quota in the cabinet.

Nasrallah said he was told by Hariri that no ministers from the March 8 camp would be represented in the government.

“We told him that we will not send the names of Hezbollah ministers,” he said. “We do not compliment… we were clear from the first day.”

Following the May polls, President Michel Aoun tasked Hariri with drawing up a new cabinet lineup.

The process, however, has faced repeated delays amid mutual recriminations between the country’s main political forces and demands by some parties for greater representation.

According to Lebanon’s constitution, the prime minister-designate does not have a deadline for drawing up a new government.

Under the 1989 Taif Accord (which ended Lebanon’s 15-year civil war), government posts are shared between the country’s main ethno-religious groupings, with six cabinet portfolios reserved for Sunni Muslims, six for Shia Muslims, and three for Druze.

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