In a recent talk, Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri shared his insight and attitude regarding the Lebanese government in the works. As reported by Al Akhbar, the old-time Lebanese politician and leader of the Amal Party shared his intention to step down from his position if "a government like this" is ultimately formed.
When asked what type of government he was referring to with this expression, Berri gave an ambiguous answer: "They have their government, they have put it together, and it is here with me in my pocket."
He proceeded to give the assurance that, regardless of his opinion on the new government, "I will do what I have never done before by supporting a government that I am not convinced of."
Nabih Berri asserted that he will not hinder its formation, nor will he delay it, and reiterated his intent to give it his confidence without participating in it.
"If they do not like my opinion about the need for a techno-political government, let them get their government out however they want if they are convinced of it."
He continued: "I will not participate in a government like this, but I will go and my bloc to the parliament, and give it confidence without being in it."
The stance that Nabih Berri has taken in regards to government formation has been clear since the resignation of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri at the end of October 2019.
As he has reinforced in this recent talk, Berri believes, based on his long presence and experience in the Lebanese political scene, that the best option for Lebanon today would be a government of techno-political nature; that is, a cabinet composed of a mix of politicians and experts.
Hence, he endorses neither a completely political cabinet nor an entirely technocratic one.
Moreover, Berri criticized PM Diab's plan to exclude former ministers from the upcoming government: "I do not understand how they set contradictory criteria. When the appointed prime minister says he does not want former ministers, does he miss that he is also a former minister?"
He also criticized the demand to get independent ministers. "Where do I get them from," he responded, "and how could they be independent if they need the confidence of the parliament, that is, of the parliamentary blocs?"
The willingness of Berri, who has been Speaker of the Lebanese Parliament for 28 years straight (since 1992), to step down from his position shows how diligent he is to bring a techno-political government to life.
Will this diligence divert PM Diab's pro-revolution technocratic vision, or are we about to see a new face take on the "Speaker" position?