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Hezbollah calls for political Cabinet, electoral agreement
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Hezbollah MP Mohammad Raad called for the formation of a political Cabinet Sunday while another party official urged an understating among Lebanon rivals over the formation of a new government and a new electoral law.

“Amid the regional crises, this country is in need of a political Cabinet per excellence,” said Raad, the head Loyalty to the Resistance parliamentary bloc.

Raad said he rejected forming a Cabinet of business people and non-political figures.

“The country does not need a Cabinet that includes people who may be courteous in their work. The representation should be a political one that leads to a balance that can ensure stability in the country,” he said.

The Hezbollah official argued that having a “technocrat” Cabinet would result in the monopoly of political decisions for the prime minister.

“If the prime minister is a politically oriented figure, he cannot prevent ministers from being political,” Raad said.

“The prime minister cannot impose his political choices to all the Lebanese people. He should work wisely within a balanced framework to what best preserves the country's stability,” he added.

For his part, Sheikh Nabil Qaouk, a high-ranking Hezbollah official, called for an agreement among the rival political parties over the government formation and a new voting system Sunday.

“Lebanon is based on understanding whether in the [Cabinet] formation or the electoral law,” Qaouk said.

He added that the unanimity that Lebanon witnessed during the nomination of Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam should be reflected on other major developments in the country.

Salam was tasked with forming the new Cabinet earlier this month by President Michel Sleiman after gaining the votes of 124 out of 128 lawmakers.

While Salam still refrains from giving details about the form of the new Cabinet, the March 8 coalition is seeking a national unity government that will be representative of all political parties.

Parliamentary sources from March 8 told The Daily Star earlier in the day that senior officials from their group held a meeting with Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam over the weekend for talks on the Cabinet formation process.

The delegation that visited Salam Saturday evening at his Moseitebeh residence is likely to hold further talks with the prime minister-designate in future meetings, the sources said.

Separately, former Prime Minister MP Fouad Siniora said over the weekend that the Future Movement will support Salam in order for him to succeed in his mission of forming a new Cabinet, and holding the upcoming parliamentary elections.

“Today a new prime minister-designate is forming a cabinet. He shares with us the same core liberal values and we will give him all the support he needs to succeed,” Siniora said.

“We will help him form a government that revives the true spirit of Lebanon, which is a model for the region and in the world,” he added.

Siniora also said his group will seek to hold the parliamentary elections scheduled on June 16 within the constitutional deadlines, to preserve Lebanon’s democratic system.

“We will fight with Prime Minister-designate Salam to ensure holding the parliamentary elections within the constitutional dates, because we simply cannot accept to put our decades-old democracy on hold at a time when democracy is being fought for in the Arab world with flesh and blood,” he said.

Salam, who has received support from Arab and foreign countries for his appointment, is trying to reconcile the conflicting demands of the rival political factions regarding the shape and role of the new Cabinet.


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