TEHRAN (Iran News) – Hopes of a a much needed political agreement in Lebanon have been dashed after the country’s Prime Minister designate Saad al-Hariri and President Michel Aoun failed to agree on a new cabinet line up leading to the premier’s resignation.
Soon after the announcement by Hariri to step down, his supporters took to the streets in several cities, blocking highways and throwing projectiles at security forces. Hariri announced his resignation after a meeting with President Aoun who rejected the cabinet proposal.
In a statement, the Presidential office said Hariri had not presented different faces and was not ready to discuss a cabinet with new identities as was requested by the President when he tasked Hariri to form a new government back in October 2020.
The statement says Hariri’s objections to discuss any amendments to the cabinet indicated he had intendions to resign regardless of the meeting’s outcome. The statement added Aoun stressed the need to adhere to a previously reached agreement, but Hariri rejected any amendments or changes to ministers, the selection of ministers on the basis of their sect and the names associated with them.
Hariri is also said to have refused accepting any opinions that had been put forward by parliamentary blocs thereby making it difficult for his government to obtain the confidence needed from Parliament. According to the statement, Aoun will now set a date with members of parliament to choose a new Prime Minister as soon as possible. Last August, Lebanon’s former government was forced to resign after a deadly explosion in Beirut.
The country is also facing an unprecedented economic crisis and many Lebanese had pinned their hopes on a new government formation to strengthen the country’s economy.