The political crisis escalates in Lebanon

Mustapha Adib after announcing his renunciation of forming a new government, at the presidential palace in Baabda, Lebanon, on September 26.

Lebanon has decided to treat itself to a new crisis. In addition to the cascade of calamities that beset it – from the collapse of its banking system to the accelerated impoverishment of the population, through the epidemic due to the coronavirus and the gigantic explosion of August 4 – the country of the cedar must now dealing with renewed political tensions.

Saturday, September 26, Mustapha Adib, the man chosen to form the cabinet supposed to succeed that of Hassan Diab, swept away by the explosion in the port of Beirut, threw in the towel, victim of the endless divisions of the local political class. “I apologize for not being able to continue the task of forming the government”said the prime minister designate, who apologized to the Lebanese for his “Incapacity” to realize their “Aspirations for a reformist government”.

Former Lebanese ambassador to Germany, appointed on August 31, pledged to set up a cabinet “Mission”, composed of “Independent specialists”, in the spirit of Emmanuel Macron’s initiative. When he came to Beirut, the 1er September, the French president had wrested from the Lebanese party leaders an agreement on a roadmap, intended to rebuild the port and get the country out of the economic slump.

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Last chance to avoid shipwreck

The document gave community leaders two weeks, bullied by the streets for their negligence and corruption, to give birth to a new executive. It also listed the list of reforms to be undertaken, such as the audit of the central bank and the regulation of the electricity sector, before the holding, in the second half of October, of a conference of donors. from Lebanon. It is this entire recovery schedule, presented as the last chance for the country to avoid sinking, that the challenge of Mustapha Adib threatens to derail.

The reason for its failure is mainly due to the mistrust that reigns between Lebanese Shiite and Sunni formations. The first camp, embodied by the Amal party of Nabih Berri, the head of parliament, and the pro-Iranian Hezbollah movement, demands to keep the finance ministry, which it has held since 2014. Mustapha Adib, supported by most of the others parties, including the Courant du futur of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, leader of the Sunni community, on the contrary asked to rotate the sovereign portfolios between the communities.

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