If we are to believe Nahar, the new cabinet is pretty much a done deal now that the Opposition has formally stated the seats it requests. Unless I (and Nahar) am missing something, it would be a no-brainer for Siniora to accept their suggestions. The Opposition does not want any of the core ministries, such as Justice, Foreign Affairs, Finance, or Economics. How come?
Take a look at Aoun's shopping list, e.g. His bloc wants to have the following 5 posts:
- Telecommunications (Gebran Bassil);
- Social Affairs (Mario Aoun);
- Agriculture (Elias Skaff);
- Energy (Alan Tabourian);
- Deputy Premier (Issam Abou Jabra).
Hezbollah is even less demanding and is willing to settle for only two posts, namely that of Labor and that of Youth & Sports. Ayup, that's the right set of posts to promote one's platform! And what a 'reward' for May's actions.
Berri is equally modest when requesting the usual Health ministry and Interior. No more talks of Foreign Affairs for his brother Mahmoud. Was he used as a threat to get the Interior ministry? Not likely, Berri would have gotten Interior without much problems anyway.
If Nahar is correct, it would imply the Opposition has pretty much given up on this cabinet. Why is that? Do they know it's not going to last long? Don't they want to take on responsibility to create some form of deniability during next year's elections? If so, then why take the Energy position?
It doesn't make sense: after all the delays and objections to settle for something so little as this. Only future will tell what the real reason is behind this unexpected and sudden submissive behavior.