Activating resigned cabinet is up to parliament, says Lebanon’s caretaker PM Diab

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Lebanon’s outgoing prime minister, Hassan Diab, said on Wednesday that it was parliament’s decision whether to re-activate a resigned cabinet, after months of wrangling that has blocked a deal on a new government.

Diab’s cabinet has served in a caretaker capacity since quitting last August over the huge Beirut port blast that killed 200 people and compounded the country’s financial collapse.

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In his statement on Wednesday, Diab said the political deadlock spurred calls to activate his cabinet but that the question of whether the constitution allows it was up to the parliament.

Lebanon’s economic crisis, which is posing the biggest threat to its stability since the 1975-1990 civil war, has seen the Lebanese pound sink by almost 90 percent, plunging many into poverty.

As businesses shut down, joblessness and hunger are rising. Lebanon’s banks, having lent 70 percent of their assets to an insolvent state and central bank, have locked most depositors out of their savings.

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