The last “knot” of the formation of the government has finally been untangled with MP Gebran Bassil’s approval of Demianos Kattar to be the minister of labor (even though he is not affiliated with the Free Patriotic Movement).
Sources have confirmed that the meeting to be held on Thursday between prime minister Hassan Diab and speaker of parliament Nabih Berri will finalize the names of the Shiite ministers and the final drafts of the line-up.
It became certain that the formation would consist of 18 ministers, not 24. PM Diab chose his cabinet ministers from names nominated by the political parties participating in the government.
LBCI confirmed that the government will include four women, adding that the Shiite duo has been given 5 cabinets, after integrating the ministry of agriculture with the ministry of culture or the ministry of information.
Leader of the Progressive Socialist party Jumblatt will not participate in the government and will not be giving the government trust.
The list of the names of the candidates chosen for the formation of a rescue government are:
- Finance: Independent Lebanese economist Dr. Ghazi Wazni.
- External Affairs: Dr. Nassif Hitti; former representative of League of Arab States.
- Interior and Municipalities: Brig. General Talal al-Ladqi; to be finalized after the Diab-Berri meeting.
- Defense: Major General Michel Menassa. He will also be assigned the position of Deputy Prime Minister.
- Energy: Raymond Ghajar; Professor of Electrical Engineering at LAU, also said to be a former Dean of Faculty of Engineering at LAU.
- Economy: An unnamed man from the Al-Haddad family; sources confirmed that his name will be revealed later at night.
- Justice: Dr. Marie Claude Najm; Director of Center of Legal Studies and Research for the Arab World in USJ.
- Environment: Dr. Manal Mousallem; former Senior Environmental Advisor to the Lebanese Minister of Environment and the United Nations Development Program.
- Public Works: Engineer Lamia Yammine Douaihy.
- Tourism and Culture or Tourism and Information: will be chosen by the Tashnaq party according to an agreement with Varti Ohanian, founder of the Association of the Lebanese Armenian workers Zvartnotz center.
- Telecommunication: Engineer Talal Hawat.
- Education and Youth: Tarek Majzoub.
- Labor: Economist Dr. Demianos Kattar.
- Displaced and Social Affairs and Refugee Files: Dr. Ramzi Msharrafiyeh.
- Industry, Public Health, Agriculture and Culture or Information: unnamed yet but has been confirmed will be given to Shiites; names to be announced after the Diab-Berri meeting.