Lebanon’s newly appointed prime minister Mustapha Adib, a former Ambassador to Germany, announced in a televised speech on Saturday that he has “recused himself from the task of forming the government” after the effort was repeatedly stymied by Hezbollah and Amal.
Adib was appointed at the start of this month, just before the arrival of French President Emmanuel Macron for his second visit since the massive explosion in Beirut that killed 190 and left more than 300,000 homeless.
Following a meeting with President Michel Aoun on Saturday, Adib said was unable to put together a non-partisan cabinet. In particular, he had run into repeated problems over who would run the finance ministry.
The Iranian proxy terror group Hezbollah, and its ally, Amal, continuously demanded that Adib appoint a Shiite ministers to the cabinet, and specifically would not give up the finance portfolio.
Adib, a Sunni Muslim, was chosen precisely for his ability to create change; his repeated attempts to appoint different ministers was constantly blocked by the two Shiite groups, particularly in the battle over the finance ministry, which they insisted belonged to their sect, according to Aljazeera.
The economic situation is severe in Lebanon, with 55 percent of the population of five million living below the poverty line, and more than 30 percent unemployed, a situation that finally drove the grassroots population into the streets with protests over and over again over the past year — and that was before the Beirut Port blast.
With the resignation of Adib, the Macron initiative to raise funds for the assistance and rehabilitation of the country may now come to a close. Macron demanded during his last visit to the country that a new government be formed within two weeks and then move ahead with key reforms.
“What I have asked for, what all political parties without exception have committed to this evening right here, is that the formation of this government will not take more than 15 days,” Macron said in his speech at that time.
The French leader told reporters the cabinet would be comprised of “competent personalities” and would be an “independent” entity with the backing of political parties.