By Asia News agency
BEIRUT: Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Bechara Boutros
al-Rahi has called for an "inclusive government” to represent all of the
country’s groups when it takes office, hopefully before Lebanon’s
Independence Day on 22 November.
In the appeal he made yesterday in his homily at Sunday Mass, the
cardinal also asked the country's parliament and political leaders to
make a further effort so that President Michel Aoun can reach a
compromise in setting up the new government.
“The Lebanese want the anticipated new government to be an inclusive,
consensual and effective government,” al-Rahi told the faithful in his
Sunday Mass sermon. For the prelate, the new cabinet should be a “government that unites
rather than divides, a government that shares responsibilities with the
spirit of the National Pact and the constitution, not with the mentality
of the distribution of shares or clinging to a certain ministerial
The Lebanese also “hope it will be formed before Independence Day so that their joy would be complete,” al-Rahi added. Aoun’s election as president and Saad Hariri’s selection as the new prime minister have renewed hope in the country’s future. However, Lebanon’s new leaders face many challenges, from a stagnant economy to a million Syrian refugees who arrived in recent.
These are serious and difficult problems to tackle for an often
waning political class whose members are focused on personal interests
and have been unable so far to deal with the country’s crises
Meanwhile, negotiations to form the new government continue.
According to the latest rumours, the cabinet should include 24 ministers
and not 30 with a confusion over portfolios as previously suggested.
President Aoun is said to approve strongly this criterion because he
wants a “government that can achieve maximum productivity in a short
Last week, Prime Minister designate Hariri concluded the first round
of consultations with the various parliamentary groups and began working
on choosing his cabinet.
One obstacle to overcome is distributing portfolio and mandates, an
issue that is still at the centre of intense negotiations. This process
could last months, especially with regard to the key positions of power
like Interior, Defence and Energy and Finance.
At the same time, the new president wants, among other things, a new,
more inclusive election law, to represent the country’s different