Michel Aoun, the leader of the opposition Free Patriotic Movement, warned against eliminating his party's caretaker telecommunications minister as Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri embarks on his latest effort to form a new government, Lebanon's Daily Star newspaper reports.
Hariri was forced to step down last week when political wrangling and defections thwarted his first attempt at forming a new government following the June elections victory for his March 14 coalition.
Hariri angered opposition members when he moved forward with a Cabinet proposal without considerations for caretaker Telecommunications Minister Jebran Bassil, who is the son-in-law of Aoun.
The prime minister-designate announced he would launch five days of talks beginning Thursday in a renewed effort at forming a government. Aoun, however, expressed frustration with the deliberation plans.
"Five days of parliamentary deliberations is not a long period," he complained. "Thus there will be a decision afterward (by Hariri) either to form a Cabinet or step down."
Aoun met earlier with Michael Williams, the U.N. special coordinator for Lebanon, as the country prepares to take a rotating seat on the U.N. Security Council.
"This is a very important role for Lebanon, which requires a fully functioning government that can follow up on many important international issues," said Williams.