Cabinet Bid Stymied by Rift over Proposed Names for Key Ministries

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Cabinet Bid Stymied by Rift over Proposed Names for Key Ministries

Nearly a month after his appointment as Lebanon’s new premier, Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati’s efforts to form a new government Sunday remained stalled by a dispute with President Michel Aoun over proposed candidates for key ministries and the distribution of some portfolios, an official source said.

Mikati’s optimism about forming a new government soon after holding “positive” talks with Aoun this week has apparently faded after new obstacles cropped up, threatening to bring the Cabinet formation process back to square one.

“We are in the last few meters from forming a government,” Mikati said Tuesday after meeting Aoun, in his most optimistic assessment since his designation on July 27 to form a new government. However, Mikati, a two-time premier and backed by France and some regional powers, acknowledged that there were still hurdles that needed to be overcome. He said he hoped a government would be formed “soon.”

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Source: The Daily Star