The Presidency on Monday hit back at PM-designate Saad Hariri and said that President Michel Aoun has never mentioned a one-third-plus-one share in his meetings with Hariri.
“The Presidency was surprised by the PM-designate’s remarks and approach in form and content,” the President said in a statement, referring to Hariri’s remarks after his meeting with Aoun earlier in the day.
It noted that a paper sent by Aoun to Hariri on Sunday did not contain names of candidates for the new government but rather a “methodology” for putting together the line-up.
“This methodological paper contained no names in order to contain a blocking one-third. It is only a formation mechanism seeking cooperation, which must precede any agreement, according to the 4th clause of the constitution’s Article 53,” the Presidency said.
It added that the constitution grants the president the right to be a partner in the cabinet formation process and that his role is not limited to signing or issuing the formation decrees.
“Any claims to the contrary are against the National Pact and the constitution and are unacceptable,” the Presidency went on to say.
“Partnership is at the heart of our constitutional system and our National Pact,” it added.
Commenting on a draft cabinet line-up that Hariri said he submitted to Aoun on December 9, the Presidency said the presidency rejected it because it did not meet the “essential elements” for the formation of a government and because it “violated the principle of speciality by merging portfolios not related to each other.”
“The crisis is governmental and it is unacceptable to turn it into a governance crisis or a system crisis, unless there is an intention not to form a government for unknown reasons,” the Presidency added.