CABINET PORTFOLIOS FROM POLITICAL FACTIONS’ PERSPECTIVE
July 11 2008
The 30-member government of national unity and the first under
President Michel Suleiman brought in new ministers and a change of
portfolios for some old ones.
Suleiman nominated State minister Yusuf Taqla (Greek Catholic, new),
Defence Minister: Elias Murr (Greek Orthodox, unchanged) and Interior
Minister: Ziad Baroud (Maronite, new).
The new cabinet saw the representation of MP Michel Aoun’s FPM for
the first time through Social Affairs Minister Mario Aoun (Maronite,
new), Deputy Prime Minister: Issam Abu Jamra (Greek Orthodox, new),
Telecommunications Minister: Gibran Bassil (Maronite, new).
Al-Mustaqbal Parliamentary Block was represented through Premier
Fouad Saniora, the first woman to hold the education ministry and
sister of assassinated Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, MP Bahia Hariri
(Sunni, new), Finance Minister: Mohammed Shatah (Sunni, new) who
was Saniora’s advisor, and State Minister: Khaled Qabbani (Sunni)
who held education ministry.
MP Walid Jumblat’s Progressive Socialist Party is represented by
State Minister Wael Bou Faour (Druze, new), Public Works and Transport
Minister: Ghazi Aridi who held the information post.
Lebanese Forces was represented by Justice Minister: Ibrahim Najjar
(Greek Orthodox, new), and Environment Minister: Antoine Karam
Phalange Party was represented by Tourism Minister: Elie Marouni
(Maronite, new), whose brother Nasri Marouni was shot dead in Zahle
months ago during a Phalange party event.
Qornet Shehwan Gathering was represented by ex-MP, presidential
candidate State Minister Nassib Lahoud (Maronite, new). He replaced
social affairs minister MP Nayla Muawad.
Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri’s Amal movement was represented by
Industry Minister: Ghazi Zaayter (Shiite, new), Foreign Minister:
Fawzi Salukh (Shiite) who returned to the post he resigned in 2006, and
Health Minister: Mohammad Khalifeh (Shiite) who also retains his post.
Hizbullah was represented by Labor Minister: Mohammed Fneish (Shiite)
who held the energy portfolio in Saniora’s resignated government.
Tripoli Gathering was represented by its leader Mohammed al-Safadi
who holds now Economy and Trade Minister: Mohammed Safadi (Sunni)
instead of Public Works and Transport portfolio.
Armenian Tashnaq party was represented by Energy and Water Minister:
Alan Taburian (new).
Armenian Hanshaq party was represented by State Minister: Jean
Ogassapian who held the Administrative Development portfolio.
Democratic Party was represented by its leader Sports and Youth
Minister: Talal Erslan (Druze, new).
Populer Block was represented by its leader Agriculture Minister:
Elie Skaff (Greek Catholic, new).
The Syrian Social National Party was represented through its former
leader State Minister Ali Qanso (Shiite, new).
Independents are: Information Minister: Tareq Mitri (Greek Orthodox)
who was education minister in the resignated government, Culture
Minister: Tammam Slam (Sunni, new), Displaced Persons Minister: Raymond
Audi (Greek Orthodox, new) who was nominated by March 14 forces.
Administrative Development Minister: Ibrahim Shamseddin (Shiite, new)
is also an independent minister nominated by March 14 Forces and who
Speaker Berri, reportedly, fiercely opposed his nomination.