Lebanon’s Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rai called on officials Sunday to facilitate the formation of a new government before the first anniversary of the deadly blast at Beirut port on August 4 last year.
During Sunday mass sermon, he hoped Monday’s binding parliamentary consultations to designate a prime minister will result in the appointment of a national reformist figure who would gain the trust of the people, who have been demanding real change in the country.
This figure should also be accepted by the Arab and international community concerned with helping Lebanon out of its financial collapse.
President Michel Aoun will hold the consultations on Monday. Political blocs have yet to agree on a candidate and it remains to be seen if a candidate can even form a cabinet without conditions and political obstacles. Former PM Najib Mikati appears to be a favored candidate after he received the backing on Sunday of other former premiers.
Government formation processes in Lebanon often take months that are plagued with political bickering between parties over shares in cabinet. It is highly unlikely a new cabinet would be formed before next week’s blast anniversary.
Rai on Sunday urged officials to facilitate the formation process and “avoid conditions and counter-conditions, constitutional ploys and disputes over jurisdiction” that had obstructed previous attempts to form a government.
He remarked that the situation in the country cannot tolerate endless bickering over rights and jurisdiction as it plunges deeper in poverty, chaos and collapse.
“What value do the rights of sects have amid the imminent danger facing Lebanon?” he wondered.
“Listen to the outrage and uprising of the people. You failed to offer the Lebanese the truth (behind the explosion), at least you should offer them a new government,” he said addressing politicians.