Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri proposed the name of a Shiite Lebanese economist who also holds French citizenship and works in French President Emmanuel Macron’s team , as the Minister of Finance in PM Mustafa Adib’s cabinet , according to a report by “Akhbar Al-Youm” agency,
He was identified as Ahmed Mahmoud Shams El-Din, who hails from the eastern town of Zawtar, in the Nabatiyeh district of south Lebanon.
The process of forming a cabinet hit the buffers this month after Lebanon’s two main Shi’ite Muslim parties ( the so called Shiite duo of Hezbollah and Amal movement ) insisted they pick some cabinet posts, including the finance minister, which has been held by a Shi’ite for years.
Prime Minister-designate Mustapha Adib, a Sunni Muslim under Lebanon’s sectarian system of power-sharing, had sought to shake up ministerial positions with a new cabinet of specialists.
President Michel Aoun, a Christian allied to Hezbollah, said on Monday Lebanon was going “to hell” if it could not form a government to ease a crisis that has paralysed the banks, sent Lebanon’s pound into freefall and plunged many into poverty.
former PM Saad Hariri offered to resolve the issue by helping Adib “find an exit through naming an independent finance minister from the Shiite sect who would be chosen by him, similarly to the rest of ministers, on the basis of competency, integrity and non-partisanship.”
Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt on Wednesday called on the political parties to seize former Hariri’s initiative before it it is too late.
“It is time to seize the opportunity provided and capitalize on it in order to facilitate the government’s formation before it is too late ,” Jumblatt tweeted.
He warned that “every minute that passes” without a new government is “not in Lebanon’s interest,” adding : “Don’t give the government of pandemic and current disasters more time.” In a possible reference to PM Diab’s failed government which is backed by Hezbollah.
Berri reportedly told Jumblatt earlier that he was under pressure ( presumably by Hezbollah) to continue insisting on keeping the ministry of finance and naming the Shiite ministers .
During a meeting with. parliamentary committee on Wednesday Berri said that the Shiite response to Hariri’s proposal will be positive.
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