Prime Minister Saad Hariri, announcing his resignation, October 29, 2019. Photo Source: Dalati & Nohra
Prime Minister Saad Hariri, announcing his resignation, October 29, 2019. Photo Source: Dalati & Nohra

Sources close to the French foreign minister are said to have accused Prime Minister designate Saad Hariri of not supporting the French initiative in words and not in deeds. Thus, Jean-Yves le Drian should limit his next meetings in Lebanon as part of his visit on May 5 and 6, to the President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, and to the Speaker of the House Nabih Berri without meeting Saad Hariri. , indicates the Saudi daily Asharq el-Awsat.

The idea would be to exclude the latter in order to put pressure on him and thus fuel the process of forming the next government, which is still at an impasse.

Jean-Yves le Drian would also carry a list of Lebanese personalities who will be sanctioned by the European Union, the United States and Great Britain. These personalities are accused of having also blocked the process of government formation and corruption.

A country without a government as the economic crisis hits it hard

Lebanon has been without government since the resignation, on August 10, of outgoing Prime Minister Hassan Diab.

The formation of a new government is considered as one of the preconditions for the relaunch of negotiations with the International Monetary Fund in order to obtain the release of financial aid from the international community in the face of the economic crisis that Lebanon is going through.

Following Mustafa Adib’s failure to form a cabinet, former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who resigned following major protests in October 2019, was tasked with forming a new government in October 2020.

In an attempt to unblock the situation, the former prime minister promised the Amal movement to allocate the portfolio of the finance ministry to a member of the Shiite community. He also reiterated that Lebanon could do without a state of default, thus denying the gravity of the economic crisis however experienced by the population, with 55% of it now living below the poverty line while the economic recession has reached 29% according to some reports for the year 2020.

However, Saad Hariri’s proposals for an 18-member cabinet clash with the Presidency of the Republic, who points out that if the Shiite and Sunni communities choose their representatives, the Christian representatives in the new cabinet would also be chosen by the former. designated minister. General Aoun de facto considers that the current proposals of the Prime Minister contravene both the Lebanese constitution and the national pact.

The latter, for his part, accuses the head of state of wanting to obtain a blocking third party within his new cabinet.

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