Barely returned from Egypt, Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri went to the Presidential Palace of Baabda to present a new government formula, according to a media source, almost 11 months after the resignation of the government Hassan Diab, on August 10, 2020 as Lebanon continues to sink into a social and economic crisis of a magnitude placing it among one of the 3 worst since the mid-19th century.
The two men had not seen each other for 4 months now as disputes between them multiplied. He was appointed after a binding parliamentary consultation on October 22 to form a 4th government.
This new formula would be unprecedented and would include a large part in new names and a new distribution of the different portfolios attributed to the different communities. Saad Hariri also gave the head of state 24 hours to study this new distribution of ministries between political parties.
These proposals would include a third-party distribution of ministries between the presidency of the republic for the Christian community, the Sunni community for the prime minister and the Shiite community for the Amal movement and Hezbollah. However, it would not respond a priori to the National Pact which orally stipulates a split between the Christian and Muslim community of the various portfolios, which could lead the head of state to refuse this new proposal.
This new proposal would however be in line with the French roadmap, underlines the Saad Hariri camp supported by the president of the chamber Nabih Berri, who believes “that this government can save the country and work immediately to stop the collapse.”
As for the head of state, he replied to the journalists present that he hopes for the best, indicating through his office that he will discuss, study and act accordingly.
In case of refusal, Saad Hariri could decide to step down, paving the way for further parliamentary consultations. This Wednesday, he went to Egypt where he received the support of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi.
On the Lebanese side, a special envoy of the French President, Patrick Durell traveled to Lebanon where he met the various local officials including the President of the Republic, General Aoun, the Speaker of the House Nabih Berri and the heads of political parties. including Walid Joumblatt, Samir Geagea. He had already met Saad Hariri and Gébran Bassil yesterday to discuss the formation of the government with them.
The head of state is said to have exposed the difficulties facing the formation of the government, the first priority of which will be to put in place the reforms deemed necessary to unblock aid from the international community, the fight against corruption and also the Bank of Lebanon forensic audit. Also, a new conference for Lebanon should be organized at the initiative of France.