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Lebanon: Government Crisis Grows Bigger as Aoun-Hariri Relationship Stumbles

Lebanon: Government Crisis Grows Bigger as Aoun-Hariri Relationship Stumbles

Sunday, 9 December, 2018 - 09:30
Lebanon's Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri is seen at the governmental palace in Beirut, Lebanon October 24, 2017. The picture was taken October 24, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir
Beirut - Youssef Diab
The crisis of forming the Lebanese government is no more restricted to the traditional dispute over portfolios and the ministerial representation of each party but has transformed into a powers' conflict.

This issue has started to jeopardize the relationship between Lebanese President Michel Aoun and Lebanon's Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri, putting the settlement at stake after Aoun hinted he would send a letter to the parliament requesting it to take an initiative to resolve the government’s crisis.

Although the content of Aoun’s letter to the parliament hasn’t been written yet, the Future movement considered that any letter that aims to pull out the designation from Hariri represents an unprecedented provocation to the Sunnis. However, sources from the presidential palace refused considering this letter a violation of the constitutional powers of the prime-designate.

An official in the March 14 bloc saw, in a statement to Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, that this permanent waving by Aoun and his political team to limit the designation is a manipulation of the constitution and charter.

Sources from the Lebanese Presidential Palace media bureau underpinned the importance of the relationship between Aoun and Hariri as well as the continuity of efforts to overcome obstacles obstructing the government formation.

The sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that there is no struggle on powers between the first and third presidencies but an understanding on rescuing the country. The president has the right to dispatch a letter to the parliament informing the deputies that the assignment of prime-designate faced political objections hindering the formation of the government, added the sources.

Sources close to Hariri also believed that it is the right of the president to address the parliament, but warned of exploiting the letter to undermine the powers of the prime-designate and to impose new constitutional rituals.

Rached Fayed, a member of the political office at Future Movement, told Asharq Al-Awsat that this would be a provocative step to the Sunnis.

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