Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri decided that he will no longer permit the weeks-long Cabinet deadlock to continue. He now plans to name those obstructing his attempts to form a government of specialists if the obstruction persisted, a Future Movement MP said on Thursday.
“Certainly, if the obstruction of the Cabinet formation process continues, Prime Minister Saad Hariri will act to name those obstructing the formation. He will not allow Cabinet formation efforts to remain in a state of standstill,” MP Mohammad Hajjar said in a statement.
Hajjar noted that it was up to Hariri to decide on how to act upon those obstructing his work in forming an 18-member Cabinet of experts to deliver key reforms, which are deemed essential to releasing the promised international aid to the crises-ridden country.
In the past, Free Patriotic Movement MP Gebran Bassil had been accused by his opponents of delaying the formation for months because of his insistence that his party, with 24 MPs, has the largest bloc in Parliament.
Lebanon has been without a fully functioning government since caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab submitted his Cabinet’s resignation on August 10th in the aftermath of the disastrous port explosion that wiped out half of the capital.
Hariri, backed by France, has held nine meetings with Aoun so far in a bid to hasten the government formation. The latest took place on Monday behind the scenes.
However, these meetings have failed to make any progress, heightening fears of plunging Lebanon into a prolonged government standoff, with all the extreme consequences this entails for the country’s struggling economy.
Hajjar said Hariri was adhering to Article 64 in the Constitution in his attempts to form a new government. “Article 64 states that a government is formed by the prime minister-designate in agreement with the president. This is what will happen,” he said.
The MP added that the usual formation system that brought the country to the current collapse will not be acceptable in any form.”