NNA – “President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, met PM-Designate, Saad Hariri, this afternoon, and discussed with him the formation of the new government. The President gave his remarks on the proposed line-up, and asked to discuss and make some amendments to return to the agreement reached during the last period, through the endeavors of Parliament Speaker, Nabih Berri.
Prime Minister Hariri, however, was not prepared to discuss any amendment of any kind, and suggested that President Aoun takes one extra day to accept the proposed line-up.
Accordingly, the President asked PM Hariri, what is the use of an extra day if the door of discussions is closed? At this point the meeting ended and PM Hariri left, announcing his apology for forming the government.
President Aoun stressed the need to abide by previously-reached agreements, but Prime Minister Hariri rejected any amendment related to any change of ministries, sectarian distribution, names, or any opinion of parliamentary bloc, so that the government obtains the necessary parliamentary confidence. Hariri also insisted on choosing the names of ministers.
PM Hariri’s rejection to the principle of agreement with the President of the Republic, and the idea of consulting with him to make any change in the names and ministerial portfolios, indicates that he had taken a prior decision to resign. PM Hariri was seeking to find the reasons to justify his step, despite the willingness shown by the President of the Republic to facilitate the task of formation, while the President is aware of the delicacy of the stage and his commitment to the need to speed-up the formation of the government which is capable on reform. All that in addition to what the President told all regional and international delegates who visited Lebanon in the past few days.
Accordingly, after the resignation of the PM-Designate, the President of the Republic will set a date for the binding parliamentary consultations, as soon as possible”.
PM Hariri’s Statement:
“I met with His Excellency, the President. We consulted on the governmental file.
In the meeting, the President requested amendments in the governmental line-up, which I considered essential. We discussed matters related to confidence, and naming other Christian ministers, and others.
It is clear that the position has not changed on this issue, and we will not be able to agree with His Excellency the President. During my conversation with his Excellency, I asked if he needed additional time to think about the matter, and he replied that we would not be able to agree, so I apologized for forming the government.
God help this country, we will talk later tonight”.—Presidency Press Office