LEBANON: President Aoun and Prime Minister-designate Hariri disagree over government formation

BEIRUT — After being assigned to form a new “savior” government, Lebanese Prime Minister-designate, Saad al-Hariri presented his ministerial list to President of Lebanon Michel Aoun.

The Office of the Lebanese Presidency harshly responded to Hariri’s selection, stating that President Aoun objected to Hariri’s unliteral naming ministers, especially Christians, without prior consultations.

“Aoun neither presented partisan candidates for ministerial positions, nor did he hand over a candidates list for the Prime Minister-designate,” the Presidency office declared, indicating that the latest Hariri formula differs from the one previously agreed to in consultations with Aoun.

On Monday, Hariri’s media office refuting Aoun’s statement and claimed Hariri received a list of candidates from Aoun during their second meeting and four Christian candidates from the list were selected.

Hariri’s statement added that, at their last meeting, he received a proposal to reconsider the distribution of ministerial positions, in consultation with the parliamentary blocs, to guarantee a third of ministries go to opposition parties.

In his statement, Hariri hopes that Aoun, a Syriac Maronite, will facilitate the government formation and not complicate it.