Lebanon's majority threatens to quit cabinet talks

The warning came as Prime Minister Fouad Siniora continued efforts to form a new government after a deal last month between rival politicians and as newly elected President Michel Sleiman admitted some complications.

Lebanon's majority threatens to quit cabinet talks
Lebanon's ruling parliamentary bloc on Wednesday threatened to walk out of talks aimed at forming a national unity government, an official from the Future Bloc said.

The warning came as Prime Minister Fouad Siniora continued efforts to form a new government after a deal last month between rival politicians and as newly elected President Michel Sleiman admitted some complications.

The Future Bloc official said the group threatened "to suspend its participation in the consultations to form a government" after one of its supporters was shot and wounded, allegedly by a supporter of the opposition.

Tuesday night's attack "is a violation of the Doha accord," he said.

The agreement, which was struck May 21 in the Qatari capital between rival Lebanese politicians, ended an 18-month crisis that erupted into street battles that killed 65 people.

As part of the deal, the political parties agreed not to use arms to settle their differences.

Four days later lawmakers from the Western-backed ruling majority and the Hezbollah-led opposition, elected former army chief Sleiman, ending a six-month presidential vacuum.

According to Lebanese television, parliament speaker Nabih Berri, who is also a member of the opposition, has pledged to "solve the problem" after Siniora told him of the Future Bloc's plan to suspend talks.

After talks with Berri, the prime minister said he was "taking small steps" towards forming a government.

"We are on the right track," he said, but gave no date for a new line-up.

Sleiman acknowledged that "complications" had emerged but stressed that they will be solved by dialogue.

Siniora wrapped up two days of talks with leaders of rival parliamentary blocs on Saturday but gave no date for a new line-up. He has since been holding talks with the main players from the opposition and majority camps.

Under the Doha deal, the ruling bloc will have 16 seats in the new cabinet and the opposition will have 11, with the president appointing three ministers -- which the government split evenly between Muslims and Christians.

Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Haziran 2008, 15:30
YORUM EKLE