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Lebanon’s Aoun objects to Hariri’s monopoly in naming cabinet ministers

December 16, 2020 at 1:03 pm

Lebanese President, Michel Aoun in Beirut, Lebanon on 21 October 2020 [Lebanese Presidency/Anadolu Agency]

Lebanese President Michel Aoun has objected to Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri’s “monopoly” in naming his cabinet ministers without consulting the presidency.

“President Aoun objected to the mechanism according to which the cabinet portfolios had been distributed among the sects without discussing the proposed candidates.” the Lebanese presidency said in a statement, adding that Aoun has never proposed any party candidates to be ministers and did not present the prime minister-designate with a list of names.

The statement stressed that the latest line-up proposed by Hariri differs from the one previously discussed with Aoun.

In response to the presidency’s statement, Hariri’s office issued a statement saying the PM-designate had received a list of candidates from the president during their second meeting and he selected four Christian candidates from it.

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The statement urged Aoun to set aside party interests, namely the demand that one party get a third of the ministries, or effective veto power, referring to the Free Patriotic Movement he founded.

On 22 October, Aoun designated Hariri to form a government, following the resignation of Prime Minister Mustafa Adib in the wake of the Beirut port explosion.

Hariri and Aoun revealed their differences over government candidates in two statements on Monday, in which they exchanged accusations of obstructing the formation of a new government.