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Adib resigns as Lebanon crisis deepens

Source: Annahar
Georgi Azar
Lebanese Prime Minister-Designate Moustapha Adib speaks to journalists at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, east of Beirut, Lebanon, Monday, Aug. 31, 2020. (AP Photo)
Lebanese Prime Minister-Designate Moustapha Adib speaks to journalists at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, east of Beirut, Lebanon, Monday, Aug. 31, 2020. (AP Photo)
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BEIRUT: Prime Minister-designate Moustapha Adib stepped down on Saturday after failing to come to terms with Hezbollah and the Amal Movement over the makeup of the upcoming government. 

Adib, who came to power in light of French President Emmanuel Macron’s initiative, had sought to put in place a miniature government of independent specialists. 

The Shiite duo of Hezbollah and Amal, who together along with their allies possess some 40 MPs, had refused to relinquish control of the hotly contested Finance Ministry. 

Both groups also wanted to directly nominate their other Shiites Ministers.

“I excuse myself from forming the government," Adib said after his meeting with President Michel Aoun.

In a bid to break the deadlock, Macron held last minute talks on Friday but to no avail, sources told Annahar. 

Last week, former Prime Minister Saad Hariri agreed to back the nomination of an “independent Shiite” for the Finance Ministry. The concession, however, received a tepid welcome from the Shiite duo who remaining unwavering in their demand of naming a partisan or affiliate. 

Hariri labeled the missed opportunity as a “blatant example of failure in managing public affairs” which would have put a stop to “the economic collapse and put the country on the path of required reform.”

Lebanon’s largest rival political parties had all accepted Macron’s initiative, agreeing to step aside in a bid to put a stop to Lebanon’s collapse. 

The Free Patriotic Movement, Lebanese Forces, Future Movement and Progressive Socialist Party had seemingly fell in line with Macron’s demands. 

Despite the precarious position Lebanon finds itself in, Hezbollah and Amal’s stance only hardened in the wake of U.S sanctions targeting their allies. 
The failed French initiative now casts doubt on the upcoming UN-backed donor conference for Lebanon, which Macron said he would organize if the government would steamroll pressing reforms included in his roadmap. 

Aoun, who could have urged Adib to submit a Cabinet lineup before signing off on it and referring it to Parliament for a vote of confidence, must now set another date for binding parliamentary consultations to nominate yet another Prime Minister.
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