President Aoun Announced The End Of the Current Government’s Mandate Effective Sunday

AFP/ Dalati and Nohra

The General Directorate of the Lebanese Presidency announced the end of the mandate of the current government, which will take effect on Sunday, May 22nd, when the new parliament will initiate its mandate.

That is “in accordance with the provisions of Item 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution, related to cases in which the government is considered a Resigned, especially the provisions of paragraph /e/ of the aforementioned item,” the statement specified.

President Aoun thanked the prime minister and the ministers and asked that the cabinet continues in a caretaker capacity until a new government is formed.

On Friday, Mikati’s cabinet held its last meeting during which it approved a long-awaited economic rescue plan after 3 years of the country’s economic crisis.

The reforms included plans to restructure the banking sector and return some depositors’ savings in hard currency, which are among the basic measures for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to release required financing.

Back in April, Lebanon reached an expert-level agreement with the IMF to benefit from the Extended Fund Facility for a period of 46 months, according to which Lebanon requested access to the equivalent of about $3 billion.

By late April, the Association of Banks in Lebanon said that it rejects “totally and in detail” the latest draft of the economic rescue plan because it throws “almost the entire part of the loss that resulted from the policies adopted by the state with its successive governments and the Banque du Liban” on the banks and the depositors.

The Association added that such a plan will lead to a loss of confidence in the financial sector. The losses of the financial sector, according to the government estimation, are at about $72 billion.

Lebanese banks have been major lenders to the government for decades. They helped finance a state whose practices were marred by profligacy and corruption and which suffered a financial collapse in 2019.

The collapse has prevented depositors from accessing their savings and the local currency lost more than 90% of its value.

In the last session, the government also decided to raise the telecommunications tariff, starting from the first of next July. Accordingly, MTC Touch has already announced a price increase for its recharge vouchers as of July.

Additionally, the item related to the customs dollar fell after it was withdrawn by the Council of Ministers.

Related: Here’s What Is Expected For The Election Of A New Deputy Speaker Of Parliament In Lebanon.

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