Aoun warns Lebanon will go 'to hell' unless government agreed
2020-09-22 | Since 1 Month
President Michel Aoun warned on Monday Lebanon was going “to hell” if a new government was not formed, and said agreeing one could need a miracle after positions had hardened between rival factions.
His televised address underlined the severe challenges facing French efforts to get Lebanon’s fractious leaders to form a new government and rescue the country from financial meltdown.
The crisis, exacerbated by the devastating August explosion at Beirut port, marks the worst threat to Lebanon’s stability since the 1975-90 civil war. A deadline agreed with Paris for forming the government passed last week.
The process hit a logjam over the demand of Lebanon’s two dominant Shia parties, Iran-backed Hezbollah and its ally the Amal Movement, to name Shi’ite ministers including the finance minister.
Aoun, a Hezbollah ally, said his proposals for compromise had not been accepted. He depicted the problem as a standoff between the Shia parties on the one hand and Sunni Prime Minister-designate Mustapha Adib along with former prime ministers who support him on the other.
When asked where Lebanon was headed if there was no agreement, Aoun said “of course, to hell”.
Asked by reporters if his comments meant there was no hope of a new government, he said: “No, there might be a miracle”.
We are today facing a government formation crisis which should not have happened because the events that await Lebanon do not allow a minute to be wasted,
said the president, a Maronite Christian under the country’s sectarian power-sharing system.
Aoun said the premier did not want to consult parliamentary blocs, which should not be excluded. At the same time, he added, it was not permissible for one party to impose ministers and the constitution did not allocate any ministry to any specific sect.
With the hardening of positions, there does not appear to be any solution on the horizon because all the proposed solutions amount to a ‘victor and a vanquished’, he said.
Adib called earlier for all sides to cooperate to form a government and secure the immediate success of French efforts.