Lebanon: Berri’s proposal brings hope for a new government

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri’s Cabinet proposal brings hope for a new government in Lebanon. Amid a deepening Cabinet crisis that has defied local and regional mediation efforts, attention has shifted to Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri who is gearing up to push with a proposal calling for the formation of a 24-member Cabinet of nonpartisan specialists with no veto power to any side, a political source said Wednesday. The proposal divides the suggested 24 ministers into three groups with no veto power to any side: Eight ministers to Aoun, eight ministers to Hariri, and eight ministers to Berri’s Amal Movement, Hezbollah and their allies. Berri’s proposal was initially floated by Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Joumblatt during a meeting with Aoun last month, The Daily Star reported. The parliament speaker aims to establish a compromise between Aoun and Hariri to solve that problem. Previously, Berri warned that the worst is yet to come in case of continuing without a government and for that reason, he announced a total debacle or a social explosion of unforeseeable consequences, according to Agencia Informativa Latinoamericana Prensa Latina. For the first time in weeks, the conditions surrounding the cabinet formation process appear more conducive to real progress. Except, this time, Berri appears to be supported in his attempt by the Maronite Patriarch Beshara Al-Rahi and Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah and powerful political parties of the ruling class, according to L’Orient Today and The Bharat Express News. The government of former Lebanese prime minister, Hassan Diab, resigned in the wake of a massive explosion at Beirut port on August 4 last year, which ravaged the heart of residential areas and the city’s vibrant commercial district. Hariri was tasked with forming a government for a fourth time in October last year. That was one year after he resigned as prime minister amid mass protests. But he has failed to form a government, press tv reported.

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