Lebanese President Michel Aoun held on Thursday the Central Bank and the Finance Ministry responsible for the country’s financial crisis that helped spur an anti-government uprising on Oct. 17.
“There are two sides directly responsible for the financial and monetary crisis: The Central Bank ... and the Finance Ministry,” Aoun was quoted as saying by ministers who spoke with Asharq Al-Awsat.
The President declared his intention to implement Article 65 of the Constitution, which stipulates that the government should make its decisions through a majority-based vote if it fails to agree on bills by consensus.
The ministers said Aoun would reject attempts to paralyze government decisions under the alibi of consensus.
Lebanon announced on Tuesday its new 20-member cabinet line-up, 33 days after Hassan Diab's designation as Prime Minister.
“Now, the challenge is how to quickly preserve harmony between members of the new government and to form a homogeneous working group that wants to help Lebanon regain its strength,” Aoun said.
The President explained that the enthusiasm of the new ministers is a sign on their ability to work on ending Lebanon’s political and economic crisis.
The first task of the new cabinet is to address the financial and economic situation and resume the implementation of infrastructure projects, he stated.
“The Syrian migration to Lebanon has cost the state $25 billion, based on UN reports. We need much less to come out of the current crisis,” he Aoun added.
The President was surprised about comments made by former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who defended some officials and rejected that they be criticized.
Aoun questioned why Hariri was granting them "immunity."
“Anyone who is proven to be linked to any violations or negligence in protecting public money, shall be held accountable,” he said.