Bassil Calls For 'National Dialogue' to Break Lebanese Cabinet Deadlock

Published January 10th, 2021 - 11:59 GMT
The Lebanese government announced tightened restrictions through January in a bid to contain a spike in novel coronavirus infections threatening to overwhelm its health infrastructure. The authorities had eased measures in December but scenes of revellers thronging bars and clubs during the holiday season had left little doubt that fresh restrictions were on the way.  ANWAR AMRO / AFP
The Lebanese government announced tightened restrictions through January in a bid to contain a spike in novel coronavirus infections threatening to overwhelm its health infrastructure. The authorities had eased measures in December but scenes of revellers thronging bars and clubs during the holiday season had left little doubt that fresh restrictions were on the way. ANWAR AMRO / AFP

MP Gebran Bassil called Sunday for a national dialogue to agree on a new political system in Lebanon, saying no state institution was capable of implementing reforms needed to save the country from collapse.

Bassil, head of the Free Patriotic Movement and the largest bloc in Parliament, also said his group did not want to take part in the new government being formed by Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri.

"In brief, we have no desire or wish to take part in the government," Bassil said in a televised speech. "We have remained silent until now in the face of accusations and lies so that we don't hamper the formation of the new government, but that's it. Once again, we were mistaken to stay silent and not tell people how things are being done in the country."


Hariri's efforts to form a new government have hit a deadlock over demands by President Michel Aoun for a role in naming ministers, appointing loyalists to certain ministries and demands from Bassil to hold veto power.

The FPM leader denied he had any specific demands other than the formation process proceeding according to a "unified standard" and said the state institutions had failed.

"If neither the Cabinet, Parliament of the judiciary can go through with reform, then it means our system have failed and needs reform," Bassil said, adding that rounds of a national dialogue must be held to agree on a new governing system in Lebanon before the country collapses under the weight of current crises.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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