Is Diab on the way out? Lebanon gov. formation back to square one

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A recent disagreement between Lebanese President Michel Aoun and designated Prime Minister Hassan Diab has returned discussions over the formation of a new government back to square one.

The dispute specifically centers on a new call by Aoun and Speaker Nabih Berri for the formation of a government of politicians and technocrats.

In a statement on Friday, Diab said he would not bow to pressure he was being subjected to, stressing that he would not fail to complete his mission.

He reiterated that he was committed to the formation of a government of technocrats with a reduced number of ministers.

In response, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs Salim Jreissati, from Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement, issued a statement, saying that the president was the one who designates the prime minister, in consultation with the speaker of parliament.

“[The President] is not a postman or a ballot box in the designation process,” he remarked.

Ministerial sources close to the president told Asharq Al-Awsat that Jreissati’s statement was sufficient, adding that what happened “shows that things have returned to square one, at a stage that requires a reassessment of the entire process.”

The sources denied any pressure being exerted on Diab, stressing that the ball was in his court. But the sources noted that the political forces, which voted for Diab, entrusted him with forming a government of politicians and technocrats, a demand that he should not reject now.

The same sources underlined Berri’s call for a “national unification government”, a formula that is supported by Aoun and which his ally the Hezbollah party did not publicly reject.

On the other hand, sources close to the designated-premier reiterated his position regarding the formation of a non-partisan government of technocrats.

“When Diab was tasked to head the government, he accepted the mission according to these criteria. Today, with some people trying to change their positions, he will not back down from his stance,” the sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Ash Sharq al Awsat

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4 responses to “Is Diab on the way out? Lebanon gov. formation back to square one”

  1. I gave you a friendly advise professor Diab, but you didn’t take it . As I told you before you are dealing with a mafia organization here and they are all crooks and thieves intent on burning you like they did to others. Hezbollah and its clowns don’t want a PM , they want to run the country like a farm . Look what they have done to Lebanon’s economy , people can’t even access their own money . In order to protect your dignity you are better off joining the protesters today and telling the ruling mafia to take this position and shove it .

  2. Maybe the problem is the president?? I don’t know … Just wondering … Sure looks that way, since he is the one constant …

    1. Unfortunately president Aoun is not his own man . He does exactly what Hezbollah tells him to do and this is the problem in Lebanon. Aoun changed completely after signing in 2006 the MOU with Hezbollah

  3. ‘The same sources underlined Berri’s call for a “national unification government”, a formula that is supported by Aoun and which his ally the Hezbollah party did not publicly reject.’

    Isn’t a “national unification government” with Berri, Nasrallah and Aoun exactly what Lebanon just had under Hariri?

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