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Mustaqbal: Hariri Won’t Give up Cabinet Formation Task

Mustaqbal: Hariri Won’t Give up Cabinet Formation Task

Monday, 10 December, 2018 - 08:15
Caretaker Interior Minister Nohad al-Machnouk speaks during the Beirut Development Conference on Sunday/NNA
Beirut - Asharq Al-Awsat
Lebanon’s political crisis sparked by a standstill in the formation of a new government has shown no sign of abating amid tense relations between President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri.

Last week, Aoun hinted he would send a letter to parliament to solve the crisis and examine constitutional means that would compel all parties to facilitate the cabinet formation process.

However, officials from Hariri’s al-Mustaqbal Movement asserted Sunday that the PM-designate would not give up his task to form the government.

Seeing political tension would harm the country, Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi urged the political class to swiftly form a cabinet.

“It is time to form a government because Lebanon is no longer able to withstand the deteriorating economic and financial situation," Rahi said in his sermon at the seat of the Maronite church in Bkirki.

The patriarch also appealed to politicians to give up their personal interests and narrow calculations in order to help the Lebanese people overcome social and economic difficulties.

Caretaker Interior Minister Nohad al-Machnouk also said during the Beirut Development Conference that Hariri would not give up his tasks as PM-designate.

"Hariri will not renege on forming a new cabinet. He will remain in charge regardless of any presidential or partisan pressure," Machnouk said.

The minister also called for "joining hands with the PM-designate so that we can save Lebanon because the economic situation is very bad."

For his part, the head of Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc, MP Mohammed Raad, stressed that internal factors were putting obstacles to the cabinet line-up, and held Hariri responsible for the delay.

“He should correct his calculations, particularly that the next cabinet should include all forces,” he said.

For his part, Member of the Development and Liberation bloc MP Ali Bazzi warned that wasting chances would tempt Lebanon’s enemies to go ahead with their plans for aggression.

Speaking at a memorial service in the South, Bazzi considered that the threats should form an impetus for the Lebanese to reach a settlement that would produce a government of national unity the soonest.

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