Bassil Says Some Insisting on Forming Govt. ‘without Consultations with Anyone’

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Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil on Sunday decried that “a single camp” is seeking to form the new government “without consultations” with the other political parties, in an apparent reference to Prime Minister-designate Mustafa Adib and his backers.

“Why is there insistence on the formation of a government by a single camp, without consultations with anyone, under the slogan of expert, nonpartisan (ministers)?” Bassil said at a press conference.

“They’re saying, ‘Either the government gets formed the way we want, or else the (French) initiative would fail and the country would collapse,’” the FPM chief lamented.

“How can characteristics and names be specified by a single camp in the country although it does not have the parliamentary majority? Is this how a parliamentary system works in other countries?” Bassil asked, in an apparent jab at al-Mustaqbal Movement and ex-PMs Najib Miqati, Tammam Salam and Fouad Saniora.

Commenting on Speaker Nabih Berri’s insistence on the allocation of the finance portfolio to a Shiite figure, Bassil said “the Constitution is clear” and it does not allocate a portfolio to “a certain sect.”

“If the objective is to enshrine the third (Shiite) signature (on important decrees), this would be an attempt at tripartite power-sharing and we certainly reject it,” he added.

Bassil, however, noted that the FPM supports the principle of the rotation of ministerial portfolios “but not reliance on foreign support to impose anything on each other.”

“We are not with the exploitation of a certain situation to break one another,” he said.

Bassil also pointed out that the FPM does not have “a desire to take part in the government,” while stressing that it will “facilitate its formation.”

He also said that the FPM has an initiative that involves “discussing the issue of Lebanon’s neutrality around a dialogue table”, “speeding up the file of extracting gas and oil” and “demarcating land and maritime borders.”

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