BEIRUT: Socialist Party leader Walid Joumblatt denied that his meeting with President Michel Aoun tackled the formation of a new Cabinet, which has failed to come to fruition ever since it entered its caretaker mode on May 21.
Joumblatt met with Aoun at the Baabda Presidential Palace, saying that the “matter didn’t come up in our talks.”
Talks instead focused on maintaining “national unity” and stability in the mountainous Chouf district in the wake of the recent armed clashes between PSP and Lebanese Democratic Party supporters.
Following the conclusion of the May 6 parliamentary elections, clashes erupted between both sets of Druze supporters, killing one PSP member.
The LDP, led by Talal Arslan, issued a joint statement with the PSP calling on their supporters to show restraint to avoid further escalation.
Touching on his recent comments labeling Aoun’s tenure as a failure for blaming his presidency's shortcomings on the plight of Syrian refugees, Joumblatt refused to “back down from his stance.”
“If his tenure was partially a success, then a solution to the electricity issue would have been found and the deficit would not have increased by two billion dollars,” he said.
The rift between the PSP and the Free Patriotic Movement, founded by Aoun in 2005, rests on Joumblatt’s demand to solely pick the three ministerial posts up for grabs, leaving Arslan out of the equation.
Arslan aligned himself with the FPM during the parliamentary elections, which yielded a sizable win for the FPM and their allies after they increased their bloc to 29 MPs.
Joumblatt doubled down further on his stance following the meeting, telling reporters that his demand is based on “the results of the popular and electoral votes which give us this right.”
The PSP managed to secure nine seats across the 15 districts.
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