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Imminent cabinet formation unlikely in Lebanon: Expert

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Beirut, Jan 26 (IANS) A Lebanese expert has said that an imminent government formation in the country is unlikely despite the dire need for a cabinet capable of gaining the international community’s confidence and saving the country from its economic and financial collapse.

“There is no chance that a government can be formed in the foreseeable future because everybody still wants their share of the political system,” Hilal Khashan, chair of the Political Studies Department at the American University of Beirut, told Xinhua on Tuesday.

Lebanon has been without a cabinet since the resignation of Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s government on August 10, 2020 in reaction to the explosions that rocked the Port of Beirut on August 4, 2020.

President Michel Aoun and newly appointed Prime Minister Saad Hariri met at Baabda Palace for 14 times in hope to reach an agreement on a cabinet line-up, but their attempts failed in light of disagreements over the distribution of sovereign portfolios among political forces.

Hariri had suggested a cabinet list that goes in line with the French initiative of forming a cabinet of specialists that is independent from the different political forces, but the list was met with a counter cabinet proposal by President Aoun who is keen to ensure negotiations with various parliamentary blocs.

Khashan said that Aoun’s objectives are not possible to reach as the Gulf countries in general do not want to include Hezbollah in any cabinet and Hezbollah will not accept to be excluded from any upcoming cabinet, so the deadlock is expected to continue.

–IANS

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