2 Lebanese political parties refuse to participate in new cabinet

Two political parties announced on Sunday their decision not to participate in the next Lebanese cabinet.

A statement issued by Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri’s office indicated that he has informed the newly appointed Prime Minister Mustapha Adib of a decision not to participate in the government which will mainly be “a technocrat cabinet that lacks affiliation and belongs to one’s political party while being formed with foreign intervention.”

The statement added that Adib was informed of “Amal Movement’s readiness to cooperate for the sake of Lebanon’s stability and public finances, while facilitating reforms to save the country’s economy.”

Berri insisted, over the past days, to keep hold of the Ministry of Finance, while he said in a previous press statement that “the Finance Ministry belongs to the Shiite sect which is a charter issue.”

His stance on the finance ministry was met by criticism by other political parties while French President Emmanuel Macron failed to solve this obstacle during a phone call with Berri, according to media reports.

Meanwhile, Member of Parliament Gebran Bassil announced at a press conference on Sunday that he won’t be participating in the government but his party will help in achieving reforms.

“We have no desire to participate in the government in a bid to facilitate the success of the new cabinet’s mission, but we will help it achieve its goals,” he said.

Bassil emphasized the importance of accepting the French initiative because it focuses on a reform program with a priority to get out of the financial and economic crisis without taking into account political elements such as Hezbollah’s weapons and parliamentary elections.

Macron visited the Lebanese capital twice after Beirut port’s explosions and met with political leaders in Lebanon while urging them to form a government within two weeks to implement reforms in the country.

On Aug. 31, Lebanese President Michel Aoun assigned Mustapha Adib to form a new government after the resignation of former Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s government on Aug. 10 following the Beirut port’s explosion on Aug. 4.

Adib is expected to propose a list of ministers to President Michel Aoun on Monday.

Lebanon has so far failed to form a sustainable government capable of implementing necessary structural reforms aimed at saving the country from economic and financial collapse.

Political conflict over cabinet’s shares constituted the biggest obstacle facing government formation in Lebanon over the past years while hindering previous cabinets’ success in implementing reforms.