Elections in Lebanon took place on 6 May this year, however the various political forces have not yet finalised their formations in the government.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun and members of his office are exerting efforts to guarantee the formation of the new government by September.
Aoun has been quoted as saying that the cabinet formation has a deadline and that he would wait till September 1 before taking any action.
The Free Patriotic Movement’s caretaker Minister of State for Presidency Affairs Pierre Raffoul said: “We will wait until the end of this month … When August ends, things will be different.”
But Aoun has limited options because the Taif Accord places no deadline for the premier-designate’s mission to form a government. Furthermore, the Constitution does not mandate the president or the parliament to end the task of the PM and assign another figure.
Sources informed about the president’s position told Asharq Al-Awsat on Wednesday that by his September 1 deadline, Aoun meant that he had decided to act to resolve the deadlock.
“First, Aoun will ask to meet with the PM-designate to discuss steps that should be taken in this regard,” the sources said.
The president would also inform the public about the situation. “They have the right to know why the cabinet formation was delayed,” the sources said, adding that the appointment of another premier-designate is mere speculation.
Al-Mustaqbal Movement sources described Aoun’s comments as “excellent,” saying his statements signaled that the president has decided to reveal the need for a swift cabinet formation, something Hariri has always called for.
“We believe that Aoun’s intention to set a deadline to form the cabinet is a good sign to push parties towards adopting a consensual solution,” the sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.
They added that Hariri is now waiting for practical answers to his initiative on appeasing all sides that would be represented in his government, including the FPM.