Politicians in Lebanon have called on the caretaker government, headed by Prime Minister Hassan Diab, to resume its functions as deteriorating economic conditions and a growing political crisis have prevented the formation of a new cabinet.
Diab’s office, however, has rejected the calls, underlining the need for the immediate formation of a government to “address the total collapse.”
Hopes of forming a new cabinet have faded in light of recent comments made by the head of the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), MP Gebran Bassil, who demanded that Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah resolve a dispute between President Michel Aoun’s camp, on the one hand, and Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri on the other.
“I want Hassan Nasrallah to act as arbiter, because I do trust him. I entrust him with the question of Christians’ rights, a cause the Aounists hold dear. I am sure that you are committed to what is right,” he added.
While Hezbollah maintained silence over the comments, Berri’s Amal Movement emphasized the need to swiftly form a government in line with an initiative made by the Speaker.
Amal also called on the caretaker government to carry out its duties “without hesitation in order to meet the people’s needs.”
In a statement on Monday, Diab’s office said that calls to revive the resigned government was not based on any constitutional provision, but an attempt “to disregard constitutional facts represented by the resignation of the government and binding parliamentary consultations that brought about a prime minister-designate.”
“The priority is to form a new government to end the political division that is pushing the country towards a devastating collapse,” it added.