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Lebanon Seeks $5 Mn to Broadcast World Cup on National TV

Lebanon Seeks $5 Mn to Broadcast World Cup on National TV

Wednesday, 23 November, 2022 - 08:30

The Lebanese authorities were unable to reach a legal agreement that gives the Lebanese free access to watch the World Cup 2022, amid a vacuum at the top state post and a caretaker cabinet with limited powers to take such decisions.

Officials failed at clinching an agreement to secure a $5 million payment to the related organization to get the broadcast rights on national television.

Lebanon is grappling with an unprecedented economic and financial crisis that left it facing a number of challenges, albeit securing funds for the broadcast rights of the World Cup.

By the constitution, the caretaker government can only convene in urgent circumstances.

In an attempt to solve the broadcast rights issue, caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati and caretaker Information Minister Ziad Makari made some efforts to secure the funds, but have failed at finding a mechanism that allows the decision to be passed without the government having to convene.

“Lebanon faces two obstacles,” the constitutional expert Said Malek told Asharq al-Awsat on the matter. “The first, has to do with the vacuum at the top state post, and the second is the fact that the government is in a caretaker capacity, meaning a resigned cabinet.”

“According to Article 62 of the constitution, the cabinet can substitute for the President in case of absence. But this is not possible today because the cabinet can not convene, as that would require an urgency which is not the case here,” he added.

Political factions in Lebanon are divided over the distribution of ministerial portfolios which has so far left the country without a government. The tenure of former President Michel Aoun ended on October 31.

Moreover, Director of the Levant Institute for Strategic Affairs, Sami Nader, said in remarks to Asharq Al-Awsat: “The Lebanese state is grappling with an unprecedented crisis. It has been unable to perform major services... so it is undoubtedly unable to provide luxurious ones like providing free broadcast for the Lebanese to watch the World Cup.”

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