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The Lebanese population suffers because of the pandemic, of course, but also and above all because of the disappearance of their bank deposits, the de facto devaluation of the national currency, inflation, the loss of purchasing power, the lack of jobs and the destruction of existing ones and of course corruption, illicit enrichment, embezzlement and political clientelism. To deal with this multitude of crises, Lebanon needs a government that will undertake the necessary reforms that are demanded by the international community. The government led by Hassan Diab resigned following the port’s double explosion in August 2020. Finally, after the failure of Moustapha Adib, Saad Hariri was appointed to lead the next government.

The Constitution entrusted the formation of the government to the President of the Council-designate in partnership with the President of the Republic. Many Lebanese therefore accuse the President of the Republic Michel Aoun and/or The President of the Council Saad Hariri of being responsible for the fact that there is still no new government.

Saad Hariri accuses Michel Aoun, founder of the Free Patriotic Movement (CPL), of wanting a third of a deadlock in the next government, seven ministers (including the Armenian minister under the Tachnag party, which, although an ally of the CPL, has, unlike the CPL, appointed Saad Hariri as President of the Council) out of the eighteen ministers and thus delay its formation. The President of the Council-designate says he wants a government of independent experts who are not linked to the parties when he himself is the leader of one of them (the Future Current) and he has decided to leave the “Shiite tandem” (the Amal movement of The Speaker of parliament Nabih Berri and Hezbollah), the PSP or Progressive Socialist Party (Walid Joumblatt) and the Tacaghn party respectively designate the ministers Druze and Armenian.

Michel Aoun accuses Saad Hariri, the Sunni leader, of wanting to form the government alone and thus flout one of the two prerogatives that remains to the President of the Republic (the other prerogative being to be able to convene and lead the Higher Defence Council), a function devolved to Christians. The President of the Republic also criticizes that the criteria for appointment used by the President of the Council-designate are not the same for Christians: Saad Hariri, leader of a Sunni political party and member of the “club of former prime ministers” (with Najib Mikati, Fouad Siniora and Tammam Salam, club excluding former Prime Minister Sélim Hoss and resigned Prime Minister Hassan Diab) , wants to appoint a part of the Christian ministers himself or in any case whether they are “independent” or rather unaffiliated with the CPL, or even opposed to him (by being affiliated with the Marada Courant of Sleiman Frangié), while at the same time the Sunni ministers would report to him, the Shiite ministers of the Shiite tandem, the Druze minister of the PSP and the Armenian minister of the Tacaghn party.

In addition perhaps the President-designate’s expectation of a Saudi and/or American blessing, and in any case beyond the sectarian tussle between Michel Aoun and Saad Hariri, there is another issue, against a background of differences within the Shiite tandem, that of the control of the government by Nabih Berri and the leader of the Future Movement.

Indeed, control of the government is sought by the trio formed by Nabih Berri (two Shiite ministers), Saad Hariri (four Sunni ministers) and Walid Joumblatt (the Druze minister) who is also assured of having the blocking third (seven ministers). Their parties were the main collaborators of the Syrian occupier during the war and until 2005. It is also the main parties that have governed for about thirty years and therefore bear a great responsibility for the current situation. In addition, Nabih Berri and Saad Hariri are even seeking to see half of the ministers report to them alone because Walid Joumblatt has moderated his position against Michel Aoun and Hezbollah is torn between his sacred alliance with the President of Parliament and the Amal movement and his strategic agreement with the President of the Republic and the CPL.

For this, they say that the President of the Republic should be limited to six ministers, including the Armenian minister, while the Latter is appointed by the Tachnag party and not by him (and that he has appointed Saad Hariri as President of the Council in contrast to the CPL and the wishes of the President of the Republic) and that in addition one or two of these five other ministers will have to be chosen together by Michel Aoun and Saad Hariri. The idea is to ensure the neutrality of two or three ministers from the camp of the President of the Republic in addition to not giving the latter a third block.

The other three Christian ministers to be appointed by Saad Hariri and to be, it has been said, “independent”, unaffiliated with the CPL, or even opposed to it (Current Marada of Sleiman Frangié).

Nabih Berri who demanded and obtained to choose the next finance minister and Saad Hariri want the majority to prevent or in any case control the reforms and forensic audit. For this, all blows are allowed, including the weapon of speculation against the Lebanese pound… The Lebanese people are victims of their ploy.

Recall that the Bank of Lebanon (BDL) and its governor Riad Salamé, the Association of Banks of Lebanon (ABL) and the changers were supported by the President of the Parliament Nabih Berri (whose resigning Finance Minister was the advisor before his appointment), his vice-president Elie Ferzli (shareholder of IBL or Intercontinental Bank of Lebanon), Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri (shareholder of Bankmed) , the Parliamentary Committee on Budget and Finance and in particular its chairman, CPL MP Ibrahim Kanaan (with presidential ambitions), its rapporteur Nicolas Nahas (member of the Azem movement of Najib Mikati who was a shareholder of Bank Audi and Saradar Bank and also close to Walid Joumblatt’s Progressive Socialist Party, whose friend Marwan Hamadé, who resigned as a member of his post, is a member of the Board of Directors of the , former president of the ABL) and members such as Anwar el-Khalil (member of the Amal movement and member of the board of directors of Bank of Beirut, the bank headed by ABL President Sélim Sfeir). Together, they denied the losses assessed by the government (though accepted by the IMF or International Monetary Fund) and blocked capital controls, the government’s plan for resigning (accepted by the IMF) and forensic audit (required by the IMF). They have earned the name “Bank Party.”

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Michel Fayad
Né à Baabda (Liban) en 1983, Michel Fayad est diplômé de HEC Paris, de la London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE), de la NYU Stern, de l'Université Paris-Saclay, etc. Après avoir fait des études en science-politique, diplomatie, géopolitique, relations internationales, management, droit, économie et gestion et avoir travaillé comme analyste financier dans un hedge fund, il intervient depuis 2009 dans la structuration financière de projets dans le secteur de l'énergie et des ressources naturelles et effectue des opérations de fusions-acquisitions.