Minister Gebran Bassil speaks during a press conference in Beirut, Monday, June 4, 2018. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri's 10-day deadline to form a new government expired Sunday with no signs of a breakthrough in the monthslong deadlock, heightening fears of a prolonged crisis if a solution was not found to the problem of the Lebanese Forces' Cabinet share.Worse still, a new war of words erupted over the weekend between the country's two major Christian parties, the Free Patriotic Movement and the LF, threatening to further complicate Hariri's mission to form a national entente government in which all the main political parties are represented.This comes as Hariri was seeking ahead of his meeting with President Michel Aoun a solution to the problem of Christian representation, which is fiercely contested between the FPM and the LF. Despite the 2016 Maarab understanding signed by the FPM and the LF, which led to an inter-Christian reconciliation and contributed to the election of Aoun as president on Oct. 31, 2016, Bassil and other FPM officials have repeatedly accused the LF of violating the agreement and harming Aoun's term through the LF ministers' performance in the Cabinet.
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