It’s finally there, the new government! They managed to divide the spoils, and in only 2 months time…
So how does it work out? There are 30 ministers in all, 16 of them appointed by M14, 11 by M8 (the famous ‘blocking third’) and 3 more by the president.
M14 got the prime minister (Siniora), finance, culture and education (Future), environment and justice (Lebanese Forces, although somebody had the decency not to give either to Geagea himself…), economy & trade (Tripoli Bloc), transport & public works (Junblatt’s PSP), tourism (Phalanges), information and administrative development (independents) and the ministry of the displaced (independent). Plus some ‘ministers of state’, whatever that means – there are some for the opposition and the president’s men too.
Suleiman’s appointees include defence (Elias Murr, succeeding himself) and interior (Ziad Baroud), i.e. guaranteeing the neutrality of the army and police forces.
The opposition hold a deputy prime minister, social affairs and telecommunications (Aoun’s FPM), foreign affairs, industry and health (Amal), labour (Hezbollah), agriculture (Skaff, Popular Bloc), youth & sports (Arslan) and energy & water (Tashnag, an Armenian party).
So after all the demonstrations of street power, we have one (1) Hezbollah minister (Mohammed Fneish) in the government, i.e. 2 (or 3?) less than in the former cabinet?
Confessionally speaking, there are 6 sunni ministers (all M14), 6 maronites (M14, M8 & Suleyman), 6 shia (including an independent with M14), 3 orthodox, 3 druze, 3 catholics and 2 armenians (one M14, one M8). Surely this is not a coincidental constellation. Observe that the only sect to be represented in just one of the sides is the sunni who are all (affiliated) with Hariri. All other confessions are divided over M14 and opposition (and/or Suleimans appointees).
A balanced gender representation, on the other hand, was clearly not an issue: there is one single woman to be found in the entire 30-member cabinet (Bahia Hariri on education)…