Lebanese PM-Specify step-down after months of deadlock

Beirut — Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned Thursday, “significant difference” with the president after nine months of political controversy that failed to unite the governments of endangered countries Resigned because of.

This development could further disrupt and uncertain Lebanon in the midst of an unprecedented economic collapse, and also diminishes the outlook for a recovery package from the International Monetary Fund.

After a 20-minute meeting with President Michel Aoun, Mr. Hariri said, “It is clear that I disagree with the president.” “I forgave myself from forming a government. May God help the country.”

After the news was reported, protesters (mainly supporters of Hariri) blocked the road, ignited tires in some parts of Beirut, and accused the crisis of exacerbation. Armies deployed to disperse protests at the edge of Beirut fired in the air and used armored vehicles to open the road. Protesters threw stones at the soldiers.

Since the outbreak of the crisis in late 2019, the home currency has plummeted, selling for over $ 20,000 in the black market and plunging to new lows. The Lebanese pound, which had been fixed at the dollar for 30 years, lost more than 90 percent of its value.

In the final effort to end the deadlock, Hariri said Wednesday he proposed a cabinet of 24 members to Aung and hoped for a response from the president by Thursday.

After Mr. Hariri resigned, Mr. Aung said he had rejected the idea that the prime minister nominee would rename the proposal list, and he was already planning to resign, “finding an excuse to justify his decision. I showed that.

It is unclear who can replace Hariri, one of Lebanon’s most powerful Sunni Muslim leaders. According to the Lebanese sectarian political system, the prime minister is elected from the Sunni class.

Hariri has not publicly approved the replacement, and without his support, the prospects for forming a government would be even further distant. Mr Aung said he would soon set a date for consultations with Parliamentary Blocks regarding the nomination of a new prime minister.

There is an increasing number of international calls calling on Lebanese leaders to form a new government. In a rare move, French and US ambassadors to Beirut recently traveled to Saudi Arabia to discuss Lebanon with Saudi authorities. They said Lebanon “urgently needed” a new reformist government to get out of the economic and financial crisis.

But for months, that effort has been hampered by a power struggle between Hariri on one side and Aung, who leads the largest block in the other parliament, and his son-in-law, Geblan Bashir.

They warned of the shape of a cabinet overseeing important reforms and elections scheduled for next year. Both sides blamed the other for the impasse that paralyzed Lebanon, despite accelerated economic collapse, deepening poverty and soaring inflation.

Annahar’s political commentator, Nabil Bow Monsef, said Hariri’s resignation would deepen the crisis and make it even more difficult to appoint a new prime minister.

“We may not be able to form a government or find an alternative to Saad Hariri,” said Boo Monsef. “President Michel Aoun would think he had won to get rid of Saad Hariri. But in reality, [Aoun] Opened the gates of hell for the whole country and his rule. “

Aung, in turn, accused Hariri of the impasse, saying the prime minister’s nomination did not respect the people’s agreement.

Regional and international mediation could not bridge the difference between the two. European Union Foreign Policy Director Josep Borrell said in a visit to Lebanon last month that cases of power struggle and strong distrust are at the heart of the battle between political leaders.

Hariri, 51, served as prime minister twice for the first time between 2009 and 2011. His second came in 2016 in an uneasy partnership with Aung, an ally of the Shiite radical Hezbollah group backed by Iran. At that time, Hariri boosted Aung to the president and finished almost two years for Lebanon without a head of state while intervening as prime minister.

Also in 2017, Hariri suddenly resigned in a television speech from Riyadh, reflecting the conflict between Saudi Arabia and its regional rival Iran, accusing Hezbollah of taking Lebanon hostage. The move was considered forced by the Saudis into Hariri, and he quickly recovered, marking the end of his traditional alliance with the great powers of the Sunni region.

Then, in October 2019, Hariri succumbed to a national protest calling for major reforms and resigned. A year later, a few months after the Hassan Diab administration resigned following the August 4 explosion at the port of Beirut, he was reappointed to the post by Congress. More than 200 people were killed in an explosion that polluted the city and injured thousands, exacerbating Lebanon’s predicament. Investigations into what is causing it are ongoing.

After Diab’s resignation, negotiations with the International Monetary Fund were also suspended.

The political impasse left no one to deal with the swirling economic crisis rooted in years of mismanagement and corruption.

Lebanon’s economy will shrink by more than 20% in 2020, poverty will worsen, and more than 55% of the population will live below the poverty line. Prices for the basic needs of import-dependent countries have skyrocketed. Power outages are increasing, long lines of fuel are becoming more commonplace, and medicines are harder to find.

Sarah El Dive

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