Lebanon's long-awaited cabinet lineup will finally be unveiled, following months of political wrangling, late Friday or early Saturday, according to well-informed political sources. Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA) anonymously due to restrictions on speaking to media, the sources said the official announcement of the new cabinet lineup was awaiting the return to Lebanon of MP Faisal Karami.
One of six Sunni MPs allied with Hezbollah, Karami is expected to arrive in Lebanon on Friday "in order to resolve several outstanding issues" according to one source. Under the 1989 Taif Accord, which ended Lebanon's destructive civil war (1975-1989), cabinet portfolios are shared between the country's main ethno-religious groupings, with six portfolios reserved for Sunnis, six for Shias and three for Druze.
Meanwhile, Elias Bou Saab, a member of the political party founded by Lebanon's President Michel Aoun, was announced as defense minister in a new national unity government expected to be formed in the next few days, a senior political source said yesterday, as reported by Reuters. Lebanon has suffered spasms of political crisis and violence since the 1975-90 civil war. Hariri leads a caretaker government but has been unable to form a cabinet since a May parliamentary election, with factions at odds over the division of posts. Hariri's Future Movement lost around a third of its seats on May 6, when Lebanon held its first legislative election in nine years and voters reinforced the weight of the Shiite group Hezbollah and its allies.