Hezbollah: No to One-Third of the Cabinet

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BEIRUT - Hezbollah rejected an offer by Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri for 10 of the 30 Cabinet posts in the new government.

The planned distribution, which Hariri submitted to President Michel Suleiman, gives 15 seats to the Western-backed parliamentary majority, 10 seats to Iranian-backed Hezbollah, and the remaining five seats to independents chosen by Suleiman.

Hezbollah supporter Michel Aoun said Hariri's proposed Cabinet distribution "shows that Mr. Saad Hariri does not want to form a Cabinet, but wants to pass time and play with the Cabinet according to his mood."

"If Hariri wants to create a new tradition, let him search for people other than us to form a Cabinet," Aoun said, according to Lebanese state-run National News Agency.

Meanwhile, Hezbollah's al-Manar satellite television station also denounced Hariri's Cabinet, saying his proposal "raises major question marks on the fate of a national unity government."

Hariri has been trying to form a government for more than two months.

On June 27, the day after Suleiman tasked Hariri with forming a unity coalition, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned that if Hezbollah became part of the Lebanese government, Lebanon would be held responsible for the terror group's actions.

"If Hezbollah joins the Lebanese government, then the Lebanese government is accepting responsibility for Hezbollah's actions, including its actions against Israel," the prime minister said.

Netanyahu restated Israel's position the following month.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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