Rear View – Lebanon in review (27 September 2020)
21 SEPT – Division of the “sovereign” ministries to be open to all parties.
President Michel Aoun proposes canceling the division of the “sovereign” ministries among sects and making them open to all parties.
In his speech, Aoun tried to absolve himself of responsibility for the country’s current state of affairs before declaring that we are going to “hell” unless the new cabinet is formed.
Even if that’s the case on paper, don’t you think that in reality the ministries will be divided to specific groups or alliances? Lebanon is like a dead-end maze.
22 SEPT – An explosion caused by a Hezbollah technical error in Ain Qana.
At around 2:57 PM, a big explosion rocked the Southern town of Ain Qana, damaging nearby homes. Initial reports suggested the explosion had occurred inside a Hezbollah arms depot left behind from the July war of 2006, but Reuters quoted security sources as saying the blast had been set off by a technical error within a weapons storage unit for Hezbollah. The party shut off the area, denying journalists entry to the site of the explosion and its perimeter. Hezbollah also denied that the explosion had claimed any victims, or that it targeted members of its leadership. The National News Agency reported that Israeli war planes had been violating the Lebanese airspace, flying extensively over Southern towns, within the time period of the explosion.
22 SEPT – Saad Hariri: “swallowing the poison”
In his statement, Saad Hariri was playing the victim stating that he was “swallowing the poison” by accepting that the Finance Ministry be granted to a candidate belonging to the Shiite sect.
26 SEPT – Lebanon once again without a Prime Minister.
Prime Minister-designate Mustapha Adib announced his decision to step down from forming a new government. This decision threatens to plunge Lebanon into an open-ended political crisis if rival factions stick to their unyielding positions on the cabinet deadlock. Mustapha Adib excused his decision to withdraw to his commitment of “national unity”, since several political blocks rejected his condition to isolate politics from forming the government. The political formation was already stalled due to Amal and Hezbollah leaders, Nabih Berri and Hasan Nasrallah, respectively, who were insisting on choosing the finance minister, as well as all the other Shi’ite ministers in the country.
27 SEPT – President Emmanuel Macron ashamed of the Lebanese politicians and accused them of betrayal.
President Emmanuel Macron Sunday accused Lebanon’s leaders of betrayal over their failure to form a new government, but he gave them another four to six weeks to implement a road map proposed by France to bring the country back from the verge of chaos.
“They have betrayed the commitment [to form a government],” Macron told a news conference in Paris, proclaiming he was “ashamed” of the country’s politicians.
He accused Lebanese authorities of choosing “their partisan and individual interests to the detriment of the general interest of the country.” However, Macron said he would give Lebanon’s leaders another four to six weeks to implement France’s proposed road map to save the country from a collapsing economy, but said that sanctions were not on the table for the time being.
“Sanctions are not out of the question,” he said, but affirmed that it is “not the way forward … right now we need political reform.”
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