A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hariri Meets with Suleiman on Formulas

Sa‘d Hariri is meeting today with President Michel Suleiman to discuss various proposed formulas for the Lebanese Cabinet. Some of the scenarios are discussed here. As expected, he seems to be looking at a formula for a largish Cabinet, with half or so of the seats going to the majority March 14 coalition, a slightly smaller number to the opposition March 8 coalition, and several seats going to figures aligned with the President. In any event, the one-third-plus one veto, a demans of the opposition, seems likely: that is, the opposition alone, or the opposition aligned with the President's men, would be able to block decisions.

The exact formula will probably take a lot of negotiation, and how flexible the Cabinet will actually prove to be is hard to predict. But so far Hariri seems to be talking about conciliation rather than dominance.

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