Lebanon’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Latif Derian stressed on Sunday that the country was not suffering from a constitutional crisis, but rather it is a victim of hegemony, collapse and dependence on foreign powers.
“There is no constitutional crisis in the country. Rather, the country is a victim of hegemony, collapse, subservience to regional axes, deliberate destruction of institutions and attacks on the lives of citizens, their stability and security,” he said.
In a speech marking the advent of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, he criticized officials for clinging on to power as Lebanon plunges deeper in crisis.
“It is a time of total collapse in all fields. Ramadan is beginning at a time of mounting economic, living, health, social and political crises,” he added.
“Throughout the world, states rush to aid the people during times of crisis, except in Lebanon,” he remarked. “Throughout the world, rulers and officials come and go, except in Lebanon.”
“The officials are a calamity and they grow more attached to their positions. Has there ever been a precedent where a country witnesses a disaster as massive as the Beirut port explosion and officials still remain in power?” he asked.
“Have you ever heard of a country where banks shut with the approval of the political system that allows two thirds of the people’s deposits to be claimed by the so-called state and the other third is smuggled abroad?” he continued.
“Is it too much to ask for the country to have a responsible government? Months have passed and some still talk of constitutional norms” and complete partnership between the prime minister and president and the so-called blocking third power, he said in reference to President Michel Aoun’s insistence on obtaining the bloc.
Addressing the sides that are obstructing the formation of a government, Derian said: “Cease your selfishness and abandon your personal interests. Lebanon can no longer tolerate more destruction and collapse.”
“Some malicious hands are working in the shadows to obstruct the efforts of brotherly Arab countries, as well as the French initiative,” he remarked, accusing those sides of carrying out an “unprecedented act of political extortion.”
He appealed to Arab countries to not abandon Lebanon, saying the country has full trust in their support and help.