Pr Minister Saad Hariri attends the IE graduation ceremony in Madrid Spain. Dalati Nohra
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This week promises to be crucial regarding the government formation process as President Michel Aoun is waiting for Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri to present him with the first draft Cabinet lineup in the hope of breaking the two-month stalemate, official sources said Sunday. "Based on Prime Minister Hariri's optimism about forming a new government soon, President Aoun considers this week to be decisive and is waiting for the prime minister-designate to put forward the first Cabinet lineup for discussion," a source at Baabda Palace told The Daily Star.Caretaker Information Minister Melhem Riachi, one of three LF ministers in Hariri's caretaker Cabinet, said his party won't accept fewer than five ministers in the new government, in what appeared to be an escalation in the face of FPM leader and caretaker Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil's opposition to the LF's push for key ministerial portfolios commensurate with its parliamentary size.Despite being linked by the 2016 Maarab agreement that achieved an inter-Christian reconciliation and contributed to Aoun's election as president in October 2016, the relationship between the FPM and the LF has soured as the two main Christian parties struggle for significant representation in the new government.
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