Berri wants another unity cabinet

Amal Movement leader Nabih Berri L was recently reelected for the seventh time as Speaker is shown in a composed photo with Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah (R) . Both parties are backed by Iran

Nabih Berri who has recently been re-elected for the seventh time as Lebanon Parliament Speaker has called for the formation of a new unity cabinet that would enjoy the support of “all parties.”

“We have a chance that we should seize and not waste. Let us form a government that would enjoy the support of all parties,” Berri , a close ally of the Iranian backed Hezbollah militant group told Arab, foreign and U.N. ambassadors who have visited him, c al-Joumhouria newspaper reported on Saturday .

“We can turn parliament with all its components into a work cell that would provide the government with every assistance to enable it to make quick achievements,” Berri , 84 who has been the speaker since 1`992 added.

No appetite for unity cabinet

After Hezbollah and its allies lost the parliament majority in the May 15 election , several politicians have been calling for a political cabinet , since the so called unity cabinets of technocrats failed to deliver . The failure stems from the fact that even though the cabinet ministers were technocrats they were assigned and controlled by polarized politicians.

The Christian Lebanese Forces party will reject anyone aligned with the armed Shiite movement Hezbollah as prime minister and stick to its boycott of government if a new consensus cabinet is formed, the party’s leader Samir Geagea said on Wednesday.

Lebanon is in the throes of one of the world’s worst economic meltdowns, according to the World Bank, with the local currency ( the Lira) losing over 90% of its value since 2019.

While Hezbollah’s ally the Free patriotic Movement had the largest parliamentary bloc before the recent election, the LF now has the largest parliamentary bloc

Early presidential elections

Former Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora suggested last week “holding early presidential elections 4 months before the end of President Michel Aoun’s term in office stressing that this period ( of 4 months) is not long.”

He told Al-Hurra that “we had a precedent in electing former President Elias Sarkis several months before the end of former President Suleiman Franjieh’s term.

Aoun’s term officially ends on Oct31, but according to several Lebanese media reports Aoun does not intend to step down if no president is elected before his term ends . Hezbollah and its backer Iran were  blamed for the   29 month of presidential vacuum in Lebanon (after former president Michel Suleiman stepped down at the end of his term) . Hezbollah insisted on having its ally Aoun as the president.

Siniora added :“The president of the republic must be the protector of the constitution, unifying the Lebanese and above all authorities, but unfortunately President Aoun lacked all these qualities”