Lebanon's Patriotic Movement Suggests a Solution to Cabinet Deadlock

Published September 20th, 2020 - 06:07 GMT
Supporters of Lebanese President Michel Aoun raise portraits of him as they gather near the presidential palace in Baabda, east of the capital Beirut on September 12, 2020, as others protest nearby to denounce a lack of progress in a probe by authorities into a monster blast that ravaged swathes of the capital 40 days ago. ANWAR AMRO / AFP
Supporters of Lebanese President Michel Aoun raise portraits of him as they gather near the presidential palace in Baabda, east of the capital Beirut on September 12, 2020, as others protest nearby to denounce a lack of progress in a probe by authorities into a monster blast that ravaged swathes of the capital 40 days ago. ANWAR AMRO / AFP

The Free Patriotic Movement Saturday put forward a proposal to break the Cabinet deadlock, as political leaders struggled to find a solution for the dispute over which sect will helm the Finance Ministry.

The proposal recommended that the three sovereign ministries – foreign affairs, finance and energy – be handed over to smaller sects, “specifically Druze, Alawite, Armenian and Christian minorities.”

The FPM in a statement urged the swift formation of the government, “that respects the standards of unity and is capable of productivity and works effectively to achieve the required reforms.”

The statement was released after Gebran Bassil, FPM head and son-in-law of President Michel Aoun, chaired a meeting of the Christian party's political leadership.

 

French President Emmanuel Macron set a Sept. 15 deadline for Lebanese politicians to form a government. France has been leaning on Lebanon's sectarian politicians to name a Cabinet quickly and embark on reforms to resuscitate the country’s collapsing economy.

Efforts to form a new government have been delayed with Amal Movement head Nabih Berri, backed by Hezbollah, insisting that the Finance Ministry be excluded from a proposed shakeup of the leadership of the ministry along with that of the defense, interior and foreign ministries.

Prime Minister-designate Mustapha Adib is in favor of rotating the leadership of these ministries among the main sects, while Berri is adamant that a Shiite should stay at the helm of the Finance Ministry.

Berri, who has been Parliament Speaker since 1992, dug his heels in against the proposed rotation after the US last week sanctioned his chief adviser former Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil for aiding Hezbollah.

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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