Lebanese prime minister-designate gives up efforts to form new cabinet
Lebanese prime minister-designate Omar Karami has abandoned attempts to form a new government, raising opposition fears of a delay to upcoming parliamentary polls. "We have again reached a dead end," Karameh told reporters Wednesday.
According to AFP, Karameh's decision prompted opposition leaders to threaten a general strike and demonstrations to protest what is seen as manoeuvering by the pro-Syrian regime to delay a general election due by the end of next month.
"Various opposition parties are engaged in contacts, as we will shortly take measures for a general strike and peaceful demonstrations," Elias Atallah, from the Democratic Left opposition movement, told AFP.
Karameh said he had written to President Emile Lahoud on Monday about his decision, but had decided to leave the door open for any last-minute attempt which proved futile.
"I wrote my apology and deposited it with the president of the republic on Monday evening, but of course we did not announce that upon the request of the president" and parliament speaker Nabih Berri.