Bassil Says Hariri ‘Can’t Name All Ministers’, Urges Constitutional Amendment


Free Patriotic Movement chief MP Jebran Bassil on Saturday stressed that all Lebanese sects have the right to be properly represented in the new government, as he called for a constitutional amendment that sets a deadline for PMs-designate to form a new government.

Bassil added, in a speech before parliament, that President Michel Aoun and the FPM are urging PM-designate Saad Hariri to form a new government and are not seeking to withdraw his designation.

Bassil was speaking during a parliamentary session dedicated to debating a letter sent by Aoun to parliament which blames Hariri for the ongoing delay in forming a new government.

“The issue is not sectarian… but rather constitutional. The crisis might be a crisis of system and constitution, and this matter cannot be resolved by Hariri alone nor the president alone nor by any single bloc. The crisis needs parliament as a whole, following a letter from the president, and it can do something,” Bassil added.

Underscoring that “no one can eliminate a sect” from the cabinet formation process, the FPM chief emphasized that no one sect can also “monopolize” that process.

“As long as the president has a signature to put on the formation decree, this means that any detail in the formation process must be subject to his approval and he does not merely document the cabinet formation process or issue its decree,” Bassil went on to say.

He added that ministerial portfolios must be “distributed to sects equally and to parliamentary blocs fairly.”

“This is a known tradition and it is not the right time to tamper with it,” Bassil said.

He also urged Hariri to submit a “detailed” line-up.

Moreover, Bassil said a constitutional amendment setting deadlines for cabinet formation is needed, calling on Aoun to schedule a national dialogue session that would tackle the new government, reforms and the “change of the current system.”



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