Lebanon's Parliament Speaker: No Cabinet in the Horizon
    2011-05-15 05:16:14     Xinhua       Web Editor: Xu
Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said Saturday that hopes to form a new cabinet have considerably dimmed and matters have reached a "complicated stage, " local Al-Jadeed television reported.

"There is no cabinet in the horizon," Nabih Berri said, "we had reached a solution but we are (now) back to square one."

The Lebanese media had reported earlier this week that hopes to form a new cabinet have increased after involved groups succeeded in erasing major hurdles impeding the formation process.

Local newspapers said the fierce battle over the key Interior Ministry portfolio between Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, a Christian, and head of Lebanon's largest Christian parliamentary bloc Michel Aoun was resolved.

Lebanon has been under a caretaker cabinet since the collapse of the national unity government of the outgoing Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Jan. 12 in a deep feud between Hariri and the March 8 alliance led by Shiite armed group Hezbollah over the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), which is probing the 2005 assassination of Hariri's father, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

The UN-backed court is widely expected to implicate Hezbollah members in the killing but the party strongly denies the charges and slams the court as "politicized."

Telecom tycoon Najib Mikati, which was nominated by the March 8 coalition, was appointed on Jan. 25 to form a new cabinet, but his efforts have not yielded so far.

In yet another sign that the cabinet formation process was mired in discord, Aoun lashed out at the Lebanese president on Saturday, saying Suleiman was a "consensus" president who ought not to take sides or demand cabinet portfolios.
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