Lebanon's new premier says needs more time to form cabinet
Iran Press TV
Monday, 14 September 2020 5:22 PM
Lebanon's Prime Minister-designate Mustapha Adib has met with President Michel Aoun for more consultations over the formation of his cabinet.
"God willing, all will be well," Adib told reporters following the meeting in Beirut on Monday.
Sources familiar with the matter said Adib did not hand over a list of ministerial names as had been anticipated.
The sources said Adib told the president he would return in a few days while Aoun consulted with various political factions.
Adib agreed that the sides take their time to recrystallize the government formation in a way to protect it, according to the sources.
On Sunday, the office of Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri voiced his opposition to the manner Adib was forming a new cabinet, saying his Amal Movement would not participate in the next administration.
Berri's grievance was over what is said to be resorting to 'foreign leverage' in forming the cabinet.
The senior legislator, however, stressed that his party would cooperate with the next government for the sake of national stability as well as ending a crippling economic crisis that has been aggravated in the wake of a disastrous explosion at Beirut's port in August.
On Saturday, French President Emmanuel Macron spoke to Berri on the phone in an effort to remove an obstacle around the finance ministry post, a demand that was turned down by Berri.
The French president has used a provocative colonial tone during his recent visits to Lebanon.
Additionally, the president of the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), Gebran Bassil, announced on Sunday that his party would not be part of the next cabinet, but would support it.
He argued that "a single camp" is seeking to form the new Lebanese government "without consultations" with other political parties.
Adib faces a 15-day deadline to form a new cabinet. The prime minister-designate was expected to present his plan to President Aoun on Monday.
Lebanon is facing its worst economic crisis in decades. The Lebanese pound has continued to plummet against the US dollar.
Observers say US sanctions on Lebanon have deteriorated its already struggling economy.
Lebanon started negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in May, but they have since hit a wall due to foreign interference.
The previous prime minister, Hassan Diab, submitted the resignation of his government on August 10 under the brunt of mounting public outrage over the Beirut explosion.
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