close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
AFP
September 28, 2020

Lebanon reels after efforts to form govt collapse

World

AFP
September 28, 2020

BEIRUT: Lebanon was left reeling on Sunday without the slightest prospect of ending multiple crises, after its premier-designate stepped down following the failure of talks to form a government, despite international pressure.

Mustapha Adib’s resignation on Saturday ended efforts to hammer out a reformist government in the wake of a colossal August 4 explosion in Beirut that killed 190 people, injured thousands and ravaged large parts of the capital.

Political parties had pledged in early September, during a visit to Lebanon by French President Emmanuel Macron, to form within two weeks a cabinet of independent ministers tasked with ending the country’s economic malaise.

“As the efforts to form a government reached their final phase, it became apparent to me that this consensus... was no longer there,” Adib said on Saturday. Under the Lebanese constitution, the president must now hold further talks to nominate another prime minister to form a government, but it is a process that risks dragging out and even failing.

“I don’t expect a government anytime soon,” said Sami Atallah, who heads the Lebanese Centre for Policy Studies. “There was a chance, there was a lot of pressure to form a government and it didn’t happen,” he said, adding there was a “bigger problem” of geopolitical tensions, especially between the United States and Iran.

Adib’s efforts were hampered by the claims of two formations, the Iran-backed Hizbullah movement, and its ally Amal, led by parliament speaker Nabih Berri, who demanded the finance portfolio. According to observers, the allies dug in their heels after recent US sanctions were imposed on a minister of the Amal party and two companies affiliated with Hizbullah.