Lebanon's Shiite Cleric Appeals to Aoun to Stop Cabinet Demand and 'Save Country'

Published September 10th, 2018 - 05:00 GMT
President Michel Aoun (Twitter)
President Michel Aoun (Twitter)

A top Shiite sheikh Monday called for politicians to resolve the government deadlock as quickly as possible for the benefit of the Lebanese people, calling out President Michel Aoun in particular to relent in his Cabinet demands in order “to save the country.”

In a televised speech to welcome the Hijri new year, which falls on Tuesday, Qabalan pressed for “a compromise from everyone to save our country.” His comments come amid the fourth month of deadlock in the Cabinet formation, due in large part to political adversaries making unrelenting demands for key ministerial portfolios.

More specifically, Qabalan called for Aoun to give up his Cabinet shares.



Qabalan was referring to a bitter dispute between the Free Patriotic Movement, which Aoun founded, and Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri’s Lebanese Forces party over ministerial representation. LF chief Samir Geagea has claimed that FPM leader Gebran Bassil, who is also Aoun’s son-in-law, has tried to usurp seats won rightfully by the LF in May’s parliamentary elections in the name of the president’s share, but Geagea has also said the LF will not relent.

As political adversaries have squabbled over key ministerial portfolios, the country’s economic stability has been said to be further and further at risk.

Qabalan called for the government formation to speed up for the benefit of the “country and the people,” whom it is politicians’ job to represent, instead of acting like “a government of axes and accusations.”

“We heard promises but didn’t see any solutions” to the deadlock, he added.


This article has been adapted from its original source.

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