Lebanon’s Prime Minister-designate has resigned on Saturday following a political impasse over government formation, leaving a punch to French President Emmanuel Macron’s efforts to break a stalemate in the recent crisis-struck nation.
Mustapha Adib made the shocking announcement almost a month since he was appointed to the job. This comes after a meeting with President Michel Aoun as he had told reporters he was going to step down.
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The French leader was working on getting Lebanese politicians to create a Cabinet that will be made up of independent specialists that can work on enacting urgent reforms to extract Lebanon from a collapsing economic and financial crisis which was further affected by the recent explosion at Beirut port.
Adib’s advice was not taken into consideration by the country’s main Shiite groups, Hezbollah and Amal, who obviously insisted on retaining hold of the key Finance Ministry. Their insistence follows as the Trump administration slammed sanctions on two senior politicians close to Hezbollah, including the ex-finance minister.
Both groups are insisted on naming the Shiite ministers in the new Cabinet and objected to the system and style in which Adib was forming the government, without consulting with those who will not be of help to the new system.
Adib concluded he was stepping down after a short meeting with Aoun on Saturday, saying the kind of Cabinet he wanted to create would definitely fail and he was keen on protecting national unity.
Currently, Lebanon which was a former French protectorate is deep in a very bad economic and financial crisis in modern history. The country defaulted in paying back its debt for the first time ever early this year, the local currency has dropped badly, leading to hyperinflation and increasing poverty and unemployment.
The situation has been worsened by the August 4 chemical explosion at Beirut’s port caused by the detonation of thousands of tons of ammonium nitrates. The explosion killed almost 200 people, leaving thousands injured and caused economic losses worth billions of dollars.
Lebanon is in dare need of financial assistance but France and other world powers have refused to provide any assistance pending when serious reforms are made since the current crisis is mainly blamed on decades of corruption and mismanagement by Lebanon’s ruling government.