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Lebanon’s PM-designate Hariri blames President Aoun for stagnant government formation

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Lebanon's Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri wants a government of non-partisan specialists, while President Aoun has called for a government in which all political parties are represented, said Hariri’s media office in a statement released on Monday afternoon.

“PM-designate wants a government of non-partisan specialists to stop the collapse of the country and rebuild what was destroyed by the port explosion while President Aoun is calling for a government in which all political parties are represented, which will inevitably lead to seizing the decision-making joints in it and repeating the experiences of several governments controlled by the factors of quotas and political conflict,” the statement said.

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Lebanon is experiencing an unprecedented economic crisis predominantly caused by decades of enriched corruption and mismanagement due to Lebanon’s inefficient sectarian quota sharing system. The crisis was exarcebated by a massive explosion at Beirut's port in August, which left 300,000 displaced, more than 2,000 injured, and at least 200 dead.

The international community has called on the Lebanese political class to set aside sectarian and political divides and facilitate the formation of an independent government capable of conducting the reforms required by the International Monetary Fund and international donors.

Earlier on Monday, an adviser to President Aoun, Minister Salim Jreissati, addressed Hariri through an article written to Al-Nahar newspaper. In it, he said that Hariri is responsibile for obstructing the formation of government.

“The answers that the counselor is looking for are with the President of the Republic. The information he missed is perhaps due to the advisor’s lack of access to all the information that the President has,” Prime Minister-designate Hariri’s office responded to Jreissati.

Hariri’s office added that it is possible that the president did not inform his adviser that the prime minister-designate, during his last visit to Baabda Palace a few days ago, had presented a complete list of names and portfolios for the formation of a government.

The prime minister-designate said he met President Aoun 12 times to discuss the formation of the government. According to Hariri, he left the discussions satisfied every time, only for the circumstances to change after the meetings.

The Lebanese Presidency responded to Hariri saying that President Aoun's objection was based on the way the portfolios were distributed among the sects.

“Aoun did not give Hariri a list of names, Aoun objected to Hariri’s uniqueness in naming ministers, especially Christians, without agreeing with the president. Aoun did not put forward the names of party candidates for ministries,” the presidential statement added.

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