Lebanon's govt. formation process 'natural': Berri

Ahram Online, Wednesday 2 Mar 2011

The new majority in Lebanon is facing a real challenge after the March 14 Bloc pulls out from negotiations

Saad al-Hariri
Lebanon's outgoing Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri speaks during a news conference at his residence in Beirut (Photo: Reuters)

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s inner circle indicated that matters in the country’s political situation remain static for now, with no progress in relation to finding viable options and solutions to assigning posts and responsibilities, Lebanese daily Assafir reports.

Speaker for Parliament Nabih Berri told Assafir he is not concerned about the process of forming a new government and that it is moving along its natural path.

The process has not been unduly slow to progress, according to Berri who added that other governments take up to six months to form.

Time has been mostly taken up in negotiating with the ‘new’ opposition the March 14 Alliance, Berri noted.    

Nevertheless, the alliance has now pulled out from talks with the ‘new majority’, leaving no excuse for the continued delay. The ball is now entirely in the ‘new majority’s’ role as Assafir stated.

In the meantime, and unsurprisingly, Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun aggressively attacked the March 14 Alliance, specifically the bloc’s former prime minister Saed Al Hariri and Foad Al Siniora.

Following the Change and Reform Bloc’s weekly meeting, Aoun criticized the March 14 alliance saying they have Alzheimer’s for claiming they wanted to protect legitimacy and the presidency when they were the ones that violated them.

Aoun also called on the Lebanese people not to resort to taking to the streets in support for those who stole their legitimacy.

“They are the ones who initiated the May 5 coup,” Aoun was quoted in Assafir. “It was not a Hezbollah coup as they dubbed it.”

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