President Michel Aoun expressed no objection to the draft Cabinet composition put forward by Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati, sources told Baabda, denying “hasty prejudices” about Aoun’s position.
The sources told al-Joumhouriah newspaper, in remarks published on Friday, that Aoun did not reject the project but instead promised to study it.
“There is no doubt that Aoun will have remarks and he may ask for modifications,” the sources said.
Al-Akhbar newspaper, for its part, reported on Thursday that Aoun was not comfortable with Mikati’s move and that the Free Patriotic Movement was furious that Mikati had renewed the terms of most of the current interim ministers. , with the exception of interim energy minister Walid Fayad.
In a leaked document of the handwritten draft by Mikati, most of the acting ministers were listed as ministers of the new government, except for Fayad, acting finance minister Youssef Khalil, acting minister for the displaced Issam Sharafeddine and Acting Economy Minister Amin Salam.
Khalil was replaced by former MP Yassin Jaber, Orthodox MP Sajii Atiyya replaced Sharafeddine, the Minister of Economy was replaced by the current interim Minister of Industry Georges Boujikian who was in turn replaced by MP Walid Assaf, while Fayad was replaced by Walid Senno, a Sunni.
The media reported that the formation has the support of President Nabih Berri who approved the appointment of Jaber instead of Khalil. He also has the endorsement of Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Joumblat, the Tashnag party and new parliamentary blocs like the Akkar bloc. The report adds that Hezbollah will most likely approve of it as well and that the reshuffle between the sects suited all parties except the FPM.