BEIRUT: Parties in the Lebanese Cabinet formation process have overcome a major obstacle and agreed on a candidate for the Interior Ministry portfolio, a senior March 8 source told The Daily Star online Wednesday.
“Parties have agreed on the name of the concensus candidate for the Interior Ministry portfolio,” the source said, adding that the individual was a Lebanese Army general.
The source also said that an expanded meeting among party representatives of the new majority would hold a meeting with Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati shortly to finalize the allocation of portfolios in the proposed 30-member Cabinet.
Efforts to break the almost four-month long Cabinet deadlock intensified following strong Syrian pressure on March 8 parties to speed up the government’s formation.
Lebanon has been under a caretaker government since mid-January, when ministers of the Hezbollah-backed March 8 resigned from Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s Cabinet, forcing its collapse. Tripoli MP Mikati, who was nominated by the March 8 alliance to form the new government, was appointed prime minister-designate on Jan. 25.