Sources say that Seniora has drafted his resignation statement and folded it neatly next to his bed. He is heading tomorrow at 9:00AM to Baabda Palace to hear Lahoud's decision on his proposed Ministerial lineup. He knows that Lahoud will say "No" and so Seniora has another paper hidden somewhere safely in a secret pocket in his jacket, a proposal for a small government made up of Technocrats to help salvage our country.
Either this proposal or the resignation statement!
I cannot say that he did not try. Seniora did. He moved from a 24-member lineup to 30 in the hope that this move would erase some obstacles, only to find out that same night that more obstacles surfaced.
According to Assafir, sources from Seniora's close circle claimed the following in response to the Hizbullah/Amal's bloc reservations(literal translation): "Hizbullah/Amal's bloc have taken away from Aoun and Lahoud the most important portfolios in the government and we don't know what they need more, and we don't know why they are complaining about bringing in MP Ghazi Youssef (from FM) and their insistence on monopolozing the Shiite representation, especially that the Future Movement has left a Sunni seat for someone outside of the Movement, MP Mohammad Safadi."
The sources continued, "It's true that there is an electoral alliance between the Hariri bloc and Hizbullah/Amal grounded on a certain political basis, however their popular representation/mandate differs from ours, and we are not sure if our agreement will last or if the stands will change at a later stage depending on the issues that will be tabled in the government. Therefore, this pushes us to hold on to the 2/3 of the government without this necessarily meaning distrust." The sources also added that "there is no need to consult Berri prior to the formation of the government because this can be misconstrued as breaking with the division of powers."
Readers, this is very important information that Seniora's sources are claiming, which shapes the relationship between FM and Hizbullah/Amal.
As for Aoun's stands with regards to the lineup, MP Hariri, (again based on Assafir so I would not be accused of being biased), said, "It seems that there are some allies of Aoun who do not wish that Aoun cooperates with me and I cooperate with him."
Now Aoun yesterday said something that struck all of the Lebanese media today, which I only touched on in my previous post, namely his declaration that his bloc and Hizbullah/Amal's form the 2/3 of the country and they have the right (emphasis on "right") to have representation in the government based on the principle of 1/3 + 1 Minister (basically, to assume the majority).
This talk is indeed interesting. Then can someone tell me why did not Aoun and Hizbullah/Amal ally in the first place? Why did we have elections then? I thought the Hariri bloc assumed a popular majority? Where did that go? Granted that Aoun's bloc might feel that it was not consulted before increasing the number from 24 Ministers to 30, but when Aoun starts talking about that his bloc and HA/Amal's need to assume the majority, I believe we're truely in another story here.
Berri, on the other hand, has said across the phone lines from Algeria that he not only asks for six Shiites from the Hizbullah/Amal bloc to be represented, but to also add MP Samir Azar, a Maronite Berri-ally. Sadly enough, he was set to arrive to Lebanon today but decided to stop over Geneva for two days and return home on Friday (he can vacation and send his orders by phone!)
Meanwhile, the vacuum continues and in this vacuum terror reigns and blockades rule the day. And with the vacuum we're starting to see old political faces being resuscitated (the likes of Arslan and Franjieh) who might just have another chance at becoming Ministers if all fails tomorrow.
Perhaps Jumblatt was right when he said that 120 members of Parliament out of 126 voting in Seniora as the PM-elect was a "trap". A trap to get him in, so all could see how the Hariri bloc will fail once more, erasing with it the hopes of March 14.
Will Lahoud work with Seniora? Does he want him in the first place? Again, I ask, where is our Lebanon heading?....I don't want to see tomorrow.
UPDATE: Lahoud agreed to have a 24-member government made up of Technocrats formed. Naharnet reports that Seniora looked relieved as I believe this is what he wanted initially, namely picking those most qualified for the portfolios away from drowning in the sea of parochial politics and sectarianism.
"Nobody knows how many rebellions, besides political rebellions, ferment in the masses of life which people earth."