Lebanon’s outgoing Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri met President Michel Aoun on Thursday without announcing progress towards forming a new government, and banking sources said most financial transfers out of the country remained blocked.
Already facing the worst economic crisis since the 1975-90 civil war, Lebanon has been pitched deeper into turmoil since Ocober 17 by a wave of protests against the ruling elite that led Hariri to resign as prime minister on October 29.
Banks reopened on Friday after a two-week closure but customers have encountered restrictions on transfers abroad and withdrawals of hard currency.
A banking source said that generally all international transfers were still being blocked bar some exceptions such as foreign mortgage payments and tuition fees. A second banking source said restrictions had gotten tighter.
Hariri has been holding closed-door meetings with other factions in the outgoing coalition cabinet over how the next government should be formed, but there have been no signs of movement towards an agreement.
Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said he wanted Hariri to be nominated as prime minister again. Under Lebanon’s sectarian power-sharing system, the prime minister is a Sunni Muslim, the president a Maronite Christian and the speaker a Shi’ite.
Aoun has yet to formally start consultations with lawmakers over nominating the new prime minister. The presidency said Aoun and Hariri discussed contacts aimed at solving “the current government situation”.
The protesters have called for a new government that would exclude leaders of Lebanon’s traditional sectarian political blocs. But politicians are still wrangling over its shape.
Hariri has held two meetings this week with Gebran Bassil, a son-in-law of Aoun. Both Aoun and Berri are allies of the powerful Iran-backed Shi’ite group Hezbollah.
نستخدم ملفات الكوكيز لنسهل عليك استخدام مواقعنا الإلكترونية ونكيف المحتوى والإعلانات وفقا لمتطلباتك واحتياجاتك الخاصة، لتوفير ميزات وسائل التواصل الاجتماعية ولتحليل حركة المرور لدينا...اعرف أكثر