BEIRUT - Lebanon’s prime minister-designate Saad Hariri Monday was putting the final touches to a new government line-up after nearly five months of tough talking with his Hezbollah-led rivals.
An announcement on the new Cabinet was expected early in the week after Hezbollah and its allies agreed to Hariri’s latest line-up.
The 30-member Cabinet will have 15 ministers from the Hariri camp, 10 from the opposition which is supported by Syria and Iran, and five nominated by President Michel Sleiman.
This means that no party will have veto power in the new government and that Sleiman will play the role of arbiter. Hariri, the son of murdered former prime minister Rafiq Hariri, was asked to form a Cabinet after his coalition won a general election in June.
But his efforts to do so stumbled because of bickering between rival parties on the distribution of portfolios and the choice of ministers.
Among the major points of contention was a demand by Christian leader Michel Aoun, an ally of Hezbollah, who insisted on retaining the sensitive telecommunications ministry headed by his son-in-law.
Hariri initially rejected that demand but finally agreed to it. – AFP