Well, it took five months (almost to the day) but Lebanon seems to have finally turned the page on the historic parliamentary elections held on June 7, 2009.
Not to jinx things, but the media is rife with reports that efforts to form a national unity government have succeeded, with the majority March 14 Forces holding fifteen seats in a cabinet of thirty ministers, while the alliance composed of the former opposition parties will hold ten seats, and the remaining five ministers will be appointed by the President of the Republic.
Rumor has it that Michel Aoun’s Change & Reform Bloc has been appointed the Telecommunications, Energy, Tourism, and Industry portfolios, along with a fifth Minister of State.
Nabih Berri’s Development and Liberation Bloc is expected to retain Foreign Affairs, Health (almost certainly Mohammad Khalifeh), and Youth & Sports.
Hezbollah, as per usual, will happily sit back and content itself with a measly two portfolios — people are talking about Agriculture (giving up Labor — I know some deported journalists who’ll be happy to hear about this…) and the Ministry of Administrative Affairs.
** There are several conflicting cabinet lineups being circulated on the internet. I’m not going to publish any of them until there is an official confirmation.
Stay tuned: a confirmed full lineup should be forthcoming pretty soon…