A meeting between Hariri and President Aoun in Baabda today ensued with the reportedly final decision that the new government will have 18 ministers.
According to the presidency, the PM-designate Saad Hariri discussed the cabinet formation process with the president in “an atmosphere of cooperation and positive progress.”
Al-Jadeed TV reported after the meeting that Aoun and Hariri were scheduled to meet on Wednesday. However, both parties decided to undergo a breakthrough, explaining why Hariri visited Baabda today.
“The atmosphere was positive during the meeting with Aoun and Hariri today in Baabda, and the number of ministers in the government was decided upon 18 ministers,” Al-Jadeed correspondent reported. “Hariri will visit Baabda again either tomorrow or Wednesday.”
Meanwhile, anonymous sources told the TV network that rumors regarding disputes over the number of ministries and the rotation of portfolios are false.
Yet, the sources added that: “There is a dispute revolving around names. However, there is progress and the next meeting will be regarding this very point, which is the names of the candidates.”
Hariri has now met with Aoun five times since being named prime minister-designate on Oct. 22nd. The meetings revolved exclusively around discussing the makeup of a new Cabinet that they hope can deliver reforms in line with the French initiative.