Baabda, Lebanon: (World View Media, Reuters)
There was no agreement on a new Lebanese cabinet after a scheduled meeting on Monday (March 22) between President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri.
Hariri said afterwards that Aoun had insisted on a blocking majority in government for his political allies.
Lebanon has been without a government since a devastating blast on August 4, 2020 led to the resignation of the then prime minister Hassan Diab who is now in office as a caretaker premier.
Aoun sent a list suggesting different scenarios for a cabinet of either 18, 20 or 22 ministers, with names to be filled in, Hariri said.
“This is unacceptable because it is not the job of the prime minister-designate to fill forms from someone else or of the president to form a government,” Hariri said.
The lack of agreement came after a hint of positivity on Thursday (March 18) when the two last met and Hariri had said the priority was to form a government that would restart talks with the International Monetary Fund.
Lebanon is in a deep financial crisis that poses the biggest threat to its stability since the 1975-1990 civil war.
Politicians have since late 2019 failed to agree a rescue plan to unlock foreign cash which Lebanon desperately needs.
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