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In parallel with the growing financial and economic crisis, political consultations to nominate a new prime minister are still facing a deadlock, with the insistence of Hezbollah and the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) to name caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri to head the next government, while the latter refuses to form it on their conditions.

Political discussions between the blocs did not result in any breach in terms of speeding up the binding parliamentary consultations to choose a new prime minister – a political measure that economists see as a “recipe for calming fears” and stabilizing the monetary and economic situation.

Binding parliamentary consultations, which President Michel Aoun is yet to call for, are blocked by the insistence of the FPM and Hezbollah to nominate Hariri to the premiership and the latter’s rejection to head a techno-political cabinet that would meet the two parties’ terms.

Political sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that Hezbollah communicated with Aoun, asking him to postpone the consultations. They added that the FPM and Hezbollah were still betting that Hariri would change his mind.

Meanwhile, Aoun, received on Thursday the Assistant Secretary-General of the Arab League, Ambassador Hossam Zaki.

He stressed that he was maintaining efforts to reach an understanding over the new government.

“The current situation cannot bear implying conditions and counter-conditions. We must work together to get out of the current crisis in a way that serves interests of the Lebanese and contributes to solving the difficult economic conditions,” Aoun said.

Aoun noted that he supported the majority of demands raised by the popular movement, emphasizing that he already submitted law proposals pertaining to combating corruption, activating reforms, preventing waste, and lifting immunity.

Also on Thursday, Hezbollah’s Loyalty to the Resistance parliamentary bloc called on the caretaker government to assume its duties in running the country’s affairs.

In a statement following its weekly meeting, the bloc said the government should shoulder its responsibilities towards the Lebanese people, especially in light of the financial crisis and the deterioration of the national currency.

ASHARQ AL AWSAT

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