Lebanese PM rejects Parliament speaker’s formula on solving political crisis

By Xinhua

Beirut : Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Seniora clearly rejected Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri’s proposal of equally dividing shares between ruling coalition, opposition, and the president in the future government, local Al Akhbar daily reported on Wednesday.

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Seniora said that following initiative by the Arab League, “some proposed a formula of 10+10+10, but Taif accord would be violated by this formula.”

The Taif agreement, also known as National Reconciliation Accord, was reached to provide “the basis for the ending of the civil war and the return to political normalcy in Lebanon.”

Signed in Taif of Saudi Arabia in October 1989, the agreement helped to end the 1975-1990 Lebanese civil war.

In the meantime, Berri said in a statement published by Lebanese newspapers Wednesday that “many Lebanese sides have been in favor of the (10+10+10) formula.”

“All Arab and foreign envoys and ambassadors visiting me say that they do not object to this formula,” he added.

Berri’s proposal came against the backdrop of an Arab initiative endorsed by Arab foreign ministers in Cairo on Jan. 6 which stressed rejection of veto power in the future Lebanese cabinet.

The Arab initiative aimed at immediately electing Suleiman as Lebanese president and proceeding to forming a government of national unity and drafting a new electoral law.

Lebanon is facing the worst political crises since the 1975-1990 civil war. The presidential seat has been vacant since former President Emile Lahoud ended his term on Nov. 24, 2007, and the sharply divided Lebanese parliament has delayed the elections for 14 times without a consensus.

The opposition is determined to reach an agreement that would give them veto power in the new government before electing a new president, a demand that the majority repeatedly rejected.