On Sunday, Free Patriotic Movement chief Jebran Bassil lashed out at PM-designate Saad Hariri again and accused him of following double standards in the process of cabinet formation.
Bassil denied, in a long televised speech, that the FPM and President Michel Aoun are seeking a one-third plus one share in the new government.
“Enough with the false accusations over the one-third-plus-one issue and with the lying to world capitals that we want it to control the government and so that Jebran Bassil becomes the next president,” the FPM chief said.
He added that the FPM has an initiative under which the new government would grant its votes of confidence.
“Let them raise the number of ministers from 18 to 20, and this is not so that we take an additional Christian seat for the president. We would accept giving this seat to Marada but not to the PM-designate, and it would be better if they raise the number to 22 or 24 to respect the principle of specialty instead of giving one minister two unrelated portfolios,” Bassil proposed.
Reiterating that the FPM only wants “fairness and balance in portfolio distribution,” Bassil added that what Hizbullah would accept for itself would be accepted by the FPM.
“When the PM-designate says that naming the Sunni ministers is his exclusive right, when he takes from the Progressive Socialist Party the name of its (Druze) minister, and when he awaits the Shiite duo to give him the names of their ministers, he is accepting that the formation of the government be subject to the principle of the federalism of sects and parties,” Bassil said.
“If this is the governing principle, then the president must apply it to every Christian bloc that wants to participate,” he added.
Bassil also proposed another initiative under which the FPM would, irrespective of its participation in the cabinet, grant the government confidence in parliament.
“Approve the capital control law, approve the law for recovering stolen and transferred funds, and approve the law for lifting secrecy off the accounts and properties of those who perform public service,” Bassil suggested.
“Also ask Alvarez to begin the forensic auditing of the central bank without any pauses or setbacks,” he added.