Hezbollah ‘blocking formation of Lebanon government’

Update Hezbollah ‘blocking formation of Lebanon government’
Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri speaks during a news conference in Beirut on Nov. 13. (Reuters)
Updated 14 November 2018

Hezbollah ‘blocking formation of Lebanon government’

Hezbollah ‘blocking formation of Lebanon government’

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri accused Hezbollah on Tuesday of blocking the formation of a government after nearly six months of wrangling.

“It’s very regrettable that Hezbollah has put itself in the position of bearing responsibility for hindering the government,” Hariri said.

“I’ve done my job and the government is ready” otherwise, he said.

Hezbollah has pushed for Sunni politicians allied to the militia but opposed to Hariri to be represented in the Cabinet. Hariri has refused to give up a portfolio that would otherwise go to his own party.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said on Saturday no government would be formed if his Sunni allies were not represented. “The lawmakers have demanded their right to be represented,” he said.

Hezbollah is the only political party not to have disarmed after Lebanon’s 1975-1990 civil war, and has backed the Assad regime in the civil war in Syria.

On May 24, after parliamentary elections, President Michel Aoun nominated Hariri for his third term as prime minister and asked him to form a Cabinet. But disputes have dragged out the process, starting with a now resolved argument over Christian representation.

Meanwhile the US State Department on Tuesday declared Nasrallah’s son Jawad Nasrallah a “global terrorist.” It said he was a “rising leader” of the group who had recruited people “to carry out terrorist attacks against Israel.”

The US also maintained its 21-year “foreign terrorist organization” designation of Hezbollah.