Le­banon’s Aoun vows to find so­lu­tion over govt im­passe

Oman Daily Observer - - REGION -

BEIRUT: Le­banese Pres­i­dent Michel Aoun said on Satur­day that a so­lu­tion would be found to a po­lit­i­cal row that has blocked the for­ma­tion of a new na­tional unity govern­ment for more than six months since a gen­eral elec­tion in May.

The coun­try is in dire need of a govern­ment able to im­ple­ment eco­nomic re­forms that the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund (IMF) says are nec­es­sary.

The last stick­ing point sur­rounds rep­re­sen­ta­tion in the coun­try’s cabi­net where the 30 seats must be al­lo­cated along sec­tar­ian lines. The pow­er­ful group Hezbol­lah says one of its al­lies must be rep­re­sented in the govern­ment to re­flect the gains they made in the elec­tion.

But Prime Min­is­ter-des­ig­nate Saad al Hariri, who is Le­banon’s main politi­cian and en­joys Western back­ing, has ruled out al­lo­cat­ing any of his cabi­net seats to them.

The Hezbol­lah-backed al­lies are also known for their close ties to the Syr­ian govern­ment of Pres­i­dent Bashar al As­sad.

Aoun said no ef­fort would be spared to re­solve the prob­lem.

“The mat­ter re­quires brav­ery and pa­tience to reach the end, but we will find the so­lu­tion be­cause wait­ing is a waste of time,” a state­ment from the pres­i­dency cited Aoun as say­ing in a meet­ing with the head of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church.

A state­ment from Hezbol­lah on Satur­day said the group’s leader, Sayyed Has­san Nas­ral­lah, had met with Aoun’s son-in-law and close ad­viser Ge­bran Bas­sil to dis­cuss the for­ma­tion of a govern­ment and ef­forts “to re­solve the com­pli­ca­tions”.

Bas­sil heads the Free Pa­tri­otic Move­ment, the party es­tab­lished by Aoun. Druze leader Walid Jum­blatt last Fri­day voiced fears for Le­banon’s cur­rency if the deadlock con­tin­ues.

While politi­cians have of­ten warned of the risk of an eco­nomic cri­sis in Le­banon, pub­lic ex­pres­sions of con­cern for the cur­rency are rare. Le­banon is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing stag­nant eco­nomic growth and has the world’s third largest pub­lic debt.

Pres­i­dent Michel Aoun

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Oman

© PressReader. All rights reserved.