Lebanon’s Parliament Speaker, Nabih Berri, criticized President Michel Aoun over the government deadlock and called for forming a new cabinet in which the president has no veto power.
Berri also lashed at Aoun’s son-in-law and the head of the Free Patriotic Movement, MP Gebran Bassil, without naming him, denouncing his threats to withdraw from Parliament.
“For whose benefit is the threat of resignation from Parliament?” Berri asked.
He added: “We will not be false witnesses to the mass execution of the Lebanese people.” The speaker was referring to earlier comments made by Bassil, who hinted that his bloc might withdraw from Parliament.
In a televised speech on the 43rd anniversary of the disappearance of the founder of Amal Movement, Imam Musa al-Sadr, Berri said: “Fear and anxiety this time over Lebanon are from the inside and not from the outside.”
“We are facing an attempt to hijack Lebanon and bring it down from within,” he warned.
He also called for speeding up the formation of the government, which should focus on addressing the fuel crisis, reviving the judiciary and security agencies to combat corruption, and holding the parliamentary elections on time.
Berri went on to say that a new government should be formed without a blocking third, referring to Aoun’s reported insistence on having a share in the cabinet that guarantees his allies’ right to veto ministerial decisions, despite the Presidential Palace’s denial.
The speaker also spoke of the Beirut port explosion, saying: “We were the first to extend a helping hand to the families of the martyrs, and we affirmed that there is no immunity that covers any person involved” in the Aug. 2020 blast.
He added: “The judicial investigator is required to implement the laws, starting with the Constitution.”