Hezbollah, Amal call Mikati’s resolve to hold cabinet meeting ” wishful thinking”

Flags of the Iranian backed Hezbollah militia L and the Amal Movement
Flags of the Iranian backed Hezbollah militia L and the Amal Movement . Together the parties are referred to as the Shiite Duo

Sources of the Hezbollah , Amal alliance which is referred to as the Shiite duo decried the statement made by Prime Minister Najib Mikati during his visit to the Baabda palace about an imminent Cabinet session as “only wishful thinking .”

Nidaa al-Watan newspaper was told by the sources in remarks published Monday, that Mikati will not call for a Cabinet session without the Shiite approval, and “no consensus has been reached yet.”

“It is nothing more than wishful thinking ” the sources were quoted as saying .

This development comes after Lebanese media reported on Sunday that Mikati has firmly resolved to call for a Cabinet session to discuss the 2022 draft state budget, which should be finalized by the Finance Ministry in the coming days,

Ad-Diyar newspaper quoted informed sources as saying Mikati is closely following up on the Finance Ministry’s efforts to finalize the draft state budget, which has become in its final stages.”

“He will meet with Finance Minister Youssef al-Khalil ( a close aid of Speaker Nabih Berri ) ahead of the submission of the draft to the Premiership,” the sources added.

“Once this happens, PM Mikati will call for a cabinet session aimed at discussing the state budget and his decision is final, regardless of who will attend or boycott the session,” the sources added.

The newly-formed Cabinet has not convened since October 14 due to a dispute over the port blast investigator Judge Tarek Bitar . Hezbollah and the Amal Movement are demanding that the government take action to fire him over alleged bias. 

Judge Tarek Bitar was appointed lead investigator into the Beirut Port blast ( background ) after the removal of his predecessor Judge Fadi Sawwan in February. The background of Bitar’s picture shows the huge silos of Beirut Port that exploded on Aug 4 , 2020. killing some 218 people , injured about 7000 and left 300, 000 homeless after 2,750 Tons of Ammonium Nitrate Exploded . They were stored there for nearly 7 years. , reportedly for use by the Syrian regime in its barrel bombs against the civilians in Syria. Former PM Hassan Diab and president Michel Aoun were informed about the explosive chemical 2 weeks before the explosion. but neither did anything about it . Aoun said he is not responsible for the port and ExPM Diab reportedly offered to go to the port to inspect the material but Hezbollah security chief Wafic Safa reportedly told him not to go . the Lebanese government , the presidency and the parliament leadership are all controlled by Hezbollah . Hezbollah and its allies have been for months trying to get him fired from his position like they did to his predecessor Judge Fadi Sawan . Hezbollah is reportedly concerned over being exposed for its role in acquiring, storing and using of the ammonium nitrate that exploded at the port AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File)

President Michel Aoun and PM Mikati, have stressed that they reject “political interference” in judicial affairs.

A member of Free Patriotic Movement ( FPM) parliamentary bloc, MP Asaad Dergham, blasted Hezbollah and Amal for preventing the cabinet from holding meetings calling their action a crime against the Lebanese 

In an interview with Al-Jadeed TV, Dergham said: “What Hezbollah and the Amal Movement are committing against the Lebanese is a crime. The government is stalled in light of the ongoing collapse, and the country needs to approve a budget and approve a plan for financial and economic recovery, and people are starving.”

In order for Lebanon to get any help from the IMF , in getting out of the financial crisis it needs to finalize its 2022 budget . If the budget is not finalized and submitted to IMF the current talks will collapse like they did during the first round , Lebanon will return to square one 

It is important to note that FPM founder President Michel Aoun has been Allied with Hezbollah since 2006 and the current leader of FPM is Aoun’s son-in-law MP Gebran Bassil who is also allied with Hezbollah. Hezbollah is also allied with the Amal movement of Speaker Nabih Berri.

One analyst told Ya Libnan ,” this is the price we are paying for getting Aoun to Baabda “