Canada Lebanon: the Prime Minister designate gives up forming a new government

19:15  26 september  2020
19:15  26 september  2020 Source:   lepoint.fr

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  Liban: le Premier ministre désigné renonce à former un nouveau gouvernement © Provided by Le Point

The Lebanese Prime Minister designate announced on Saturday that he was giving up, for lack of consensus, to form a new government intended to save the country from one of the worst economic crises in its history almost two months after the explosion at the port of Beirut.

"I apologize for not being able to continue the task of forming the government," Moustapha Adib said during a press briefing at the presidential palace, apologizing to the Lebanese for his "inability" to achieve their "aspirations to a reformist government ".

The Lebanese political parties pledged at the beginning of September, during the visit of French President Emmanuel Macron, to form a "mission" cabinet made up of "competent" and "independent" ministers within two weeks to leave the country of the economic slump.

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 Lebanon: powerful explosion in a Hezbollah building in the South © Provided by Le Point A powerful explosion shook a building of Hezbollah on the outskirts of a village in the south of Lebanon on Tuesday, causing thick swirls of black smoke, indicated to the AFP corroborating sources. A resident of the village of Aïn Qana spoke of a house acting as a "center of Hezbollah", specifying that members of the armed Shiite movement had cordoned off the area. "The whole village was shaken," he said, reporting property damage in the area of ​​the blast.

But "while the efforts to form the government were nearing their ends, it became clear to me that this consensus no longer existed, and that a (ministerial) team according to the criteria I set was already dedicated to failure ", explained Mr. Adib.

The Lebanese government resigned following the devastating explosion at the port of Beirut on August 4 which left more than 190 dead and more than 6,500 injured, also devastating entire districts of the capital.

Appointed on August 31, Mr. Adib was under pressure to form a government as quickly as possible, so as to launch the reforms demanded by the international community to unlock billions of dollars in aid.

Its efforts were however hampered by a system of community sharing of power, in force since independence, and more specifically by the demands of two Shiite formations, Hezbollah, a heavyweight in Lebanese politics, and its ally Amal, led by the head of Parliament Nabih Berri, who demanded the finance portfolio.

France in action for the formation of a new government in Lebanon

 France in action for the formation of a new government in Lebanon © Dalati and Nohra, AFP Prime Minister designate Mustapha Adib, during a press conference on September 17, 2020, at the presidential palace in Baabda, in Liban. Lebanon remains immersed in uncertainty, several days after the expiry of the deadline set for forming a new government. Despite the efforts made by France, the political blockage persists around the allocation of the finance portfolio, which the Shiite tandem made up of Hezbollah and the Amal movement refuses to give up.

According to observers, the stubbornness of the Shiite tandem is linked to recent American sanctions against a minister of the Amal party and two companies affiliated with Hezbollah.

End of the French initiative?

For his part, President Michel Aoun "accepted" Mr. Adib's renunciation, affirming that he "will take (it) the appropriate measures in accordance with the requirements of the Constitution" to appoint a new Prime Minister.

"The initiative launched by French President Emmanuel Macron is still ongoing and enjoys all my support," assured Mr. Aoun with reference to the roadmap put in place by Paris for the end of the crisis.

The French initiative "must continue because it expresses the sincere intention of the friendly French state and of President Macron personally to support Lebanon," Mr. Adib stressed for his part.

France, very involved in the Lebanese dossier, urged Lebanon's partners on Wednesday to exert "strong and convergent pressure" to push for the formation of a new government.

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In political and diplomatic circles and on social networks, the reactions, often virulent, were not long in coming.

"It is regrettable to circumvent the opportunity which was offered to Lebanon", deplored former Prime Ministers Fouad Siniora, Tamam Salam and Nagib Mikati in a joint statement.

"We say to those who applaud today the fall of the initiative of French President Emmanuel Macron, that you will bite your fingers", warned for his part the former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who had returned his apron last October under pressure from the streets.

"Such a degree of irresponsibility, when the fate of Lebanon and its people is at stake! Politicians, have you really sabotaged this unique opportunity created by France?", Rebelled on Twitter the special coordinator of the 'UN for Lebanon, Jan Kubis.

Lebanon has been going through one of the worst economic, social and political crises in its history for a year, marked by a collapse of its national currency, hyperinflation and large-scale pauperization of the population.

The crisis was amplified by the Covid-19 pandemic and the explosion of August 4, which catalyzed the mobilization of the international community.

Monday, Michel Aoun had warned that Lebanon was heading towards "hell" if a new government was not formed as soon as possible.

"We are going to fasten our seat belts, the flight to hell has started," quipped an Internet user on Twitter on Saturday, after the announcement of Moustapha Adib's renunciation.

26/09/2020 15:01:53 - Beirut (AFP) - © 2020 AFP

An evening to support Lebanon Thursday on France 2 and France Inter, with a concert at the Olympia .
A concert at the Olympia for the benefit of the Lebanese Red Cross, reports, interviews: France 2 and France Inter broadcast Thursday October 1 a special evening to support Lebanon, after the explosion that ravaged Beirut on August 4. © Provided by Franceinfo France 2 and France Inter broadcast Thursday, October 1 "All united for Lebanon", a special evening around a big live concert, in support of this country which is struggling to recover from the explosions that ravaged Beirut this summer.

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