Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab threatened on Saturday to stop performing his duties to pressure politicians to form a new government.
“The equation is clear: there is no solution to the social crisis without solving the financial crisis, no solution to the financial crisis without the resumption of negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), no negotiations with the IMF without reforms, no reforms without a new government,” Diab added.
Diab’s cabinet resigned on the back of the August 4 Beirut port explosion that devastated swathes of the capital. Prime minister-designate Saad al-Hariri was nominated in October but has failed to form a new cabinet so far due to political deadlock between him and President Michel Aoun.
Lebanon has been witnessing a devastating political and socio-economic crisis since October 2019 when nationwide protests demanding pollical and economic reforms pressured for the resignation of al-Hariri’s government.
Diab added that Lebanon has reached the brink of explosion after the collapse and that there is fear that “the dangers will no longer be contained”.
“As if it is our destiny in this country to remain tormented. As if the Lebanese’s dreams of a stable homeland are imprisoned. As if their aspirations for a just state is forbidden. As if their wishes for reassurance to tomorrow were confiscated,” Diab added.
“If seclusion helps with cabinet formation then I am ready to resort to it, although it goes against my convictions for it disrupts the entire state and is detrimental to the Lebanese,” Diab said in a speech.
“What is the responsibility of the Lebanese in the world’s conflicts? Why does Lebanon remain at the center of conflict in the region? Who is using our country as an arena to settle foreign agendas,” Diab added.
Diab added that the Lebanese are suffering a serious social crisis, and it is likely to worsen if a new government with powers is not formed.
“Is not the scene of the race for milk a sufficient incentive to transcend the formalities and round the corners in order to form a government,” Diab said.
Diab added that the politicians cannot blame the people for their cry, while the formation of the government is in a vicious circle, and thus the suffering of the Lebanese is deepening, and social problems are accumulating.
Diab added that Lebanon is in grave danger, and that the Lebanese are paying the heavy price of waiting.
“Let us leave the illusions and ambitions of the authority aside, because the days to come do not bode well if stubbornness, defiance and arrogance remain barriers to forming the future government. May God protect Lebanon; May God protect the Lebanese,” Diab added.
- with Reuters
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