The Lebanese Forces emphasized eagerness to maintain good relations with President Michel Aoun, voicing fears that outgoing Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil “seeks to break” their ties with the “presidential term,” al-Joumhouria daily reported on Wednesday.
“Bassil wants to blow the LF relationship with the presidential term,” by allocating the share of the president in the new government to figures belonging to his “political line,” LF sources told the daily on condition of anonymity.
They confirmed keenness “on the position of the presidency and the role of the president, otherwise it would not have paved the way for General Aoun to reach the Baabda Palace through the Maarab Agreement,” they said.
As political parties wrangle over the distribution of ministerial portfolios in the new government, the issue of the president’s share in the Cabinet triggered controversy between the Free Patriotic Movement and LF.
Bassil, head of the FPM and Aoun’s son-in-law, had demanded six ministerial portfolios including finance or interior for his parliamentary bloc . He also said President Michel Aoun (FPM founder) should have four other separate portfolios.
On the other hand, the LF has vowed on Monday to be part of the President’s share in the new government, “we in the LF consider ourselves to be a part of the President's share, seeing as we were partners in his election,” they said.
LF sources voiced concerns that Bassil would under this heading tarnish the LF-President ties.
As per constitutional norms, Prime Minister Saad Hariri kicked off parliamentary consultations Monday morning to explore the demands of the parliamentary blocs regarding the line-up and policies of the new government.