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Lebanon's Hariri Proposes Naming Independent Shiite at Finance Ministry

Lebanon's Hariri Proposes Naming Independent Shiite at Finance Ministry

Wednesday, 23 September, 2020 - 04:45
FILE PHOTO: Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri speaks during a news conference in Beirut, Lebanon October 18, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri proposed on Tuesday a solution to the cabinet crisis, saying he would help PM-designate Mustapha Adib choose an independent Shiite minister at the Finance Ministry.

“I decided to help Prime Minister Adib find a way out, by naming a finance minister from the Shiite sect, who would be independent and whom he chooses, like all other ministers on the basis of competence, integrity and non-affiliation to ant party,” Hariri said in a statement issued by his office.

However, the head of al-Mustaqbal Movement said this doesn’t mean in any way recognition that the finance ministry is the exclusive right of the Shiite sect or any other sect.

“It should be clear that this is a one-time decision and does not constitute a norm upon which to form future governments,” the statement said.

Hariri asserted that his initiative came to stop the collapse of the government formation, which would entail the risk of political, socio-economic, and security chaos.

He said it has become clear that obstructing the formation of the government threatens to eliminate the opportunity to achieve the reforms demanded by all the Lebanese, a condition that opens the way for French President Emmanuel Macron’s call for an international conference to support Lebanon at the end of next month.

He said Adib was named PM by a large majority of deputies to form a small government composed of specialists known for their competence and integrity, none of them belonging to any political party, and with a task to achieve economic, financial and administrative reform to stop the collapse.

“It was the request of Amal Movement and Hezbollah to name the Shiite ministers and to limit the Ministry of Finance to a Shiite candidate based on the claim that this is a constitutional right that stems from the Taef Accord, while it is a heresy that does not exist neither in the Constitution nor in the Taef Accord,” Hariri said.

The former PM asserted that the survival of Lebanon, the livelihood and dignity of the Lebanese remain greater than the sectarian and political conflicts, and deserve to keep the opportunity to save Lebanon away from the differences no matter how big they are.

“With this step, the responsibility rests with the opponents to form the government. If they respond and facilitate, Lebanon and the Lebanese will gain, and if they continue to obstruct it, they will bear the responsibility of wasting Lebanon’s opportunity to stop the collapse,” he said.

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