One of the "main obstacles" facing PM-designate Saad Hariri’s bid to form a new government is “Hizbullah’s demand that a ministerial seat be allocated to a Sunni deputy close to the party,” the Saudi Asharq al-Awsat daily reported on Tuesday.
“The party has presented its demand to Hariri during Monday’s consultations, and is expected to reiterate it later on,” well-informed sources told the daily on condition of anonymity.
"Hizbullah’s demand that Sunni MPs close to the party be given a cabinet seat in the next government stems from the fact that Lebanon’s parliament has 10 deputies now from outside Hariri’s al-Mustaqbal bloc," said the daily.
Al-Mustaqbal used to acquire the entire Sunni quota in previous parliament assemblies, which authorized it to get the entire Sunni ministries in the successive governments.
Counter demands for Sunni Cabinet shares did not stop at Hizbullah and al-Mustaqbal bloc.
Ex-PM Najib Miqati (MP-elect) has also asked Hariri for a seat, arguing that his four-member parliamentary bloc entitles him for that, according to the daily.
Miqati's sources told Asharq al-Awsat that “he and his bloc during parliamentary consultations yesterday presented Hariri with more than one option, including obtaining a ministry for a Sunni figure, without closing the door on other options as a Christian minister.”
“In fact, Hariri faces four obstacles embodied in the allocation of the Finance Ministry, the share of the Druze, the share of Sunnis from the March 8 camp, distancing the Lebanese Forces from the so-called sovereign portfolios and the share allocated to the President,” said the daily.