The Maronite Patriarch, Mar Bechara Boutros Al-Rai, said that the process of forming the new government in Lebanon has returned to point zero, calling on officials to form a government as soon as possible.
In a speech he called on the occasion of Christmas, he called on officials in his country to what he called “the release of Lebanon’s families” of the region’s files and conflicts.
He said, “We were waiting for a government that would reform the state, not in the process of forming a government through which some of them would control the joints of the state. We were trying to save the people and not announce the fall of the state.”
He continued, “We regretted the failure of the promises that were given to us, so the formation of the government returned to point zero. O officials, release Lebanon’s captivity from the region’s files and conflicts and from your calculations and your own future interests.”
Al-Ra’i said, “Our responsibility has prompted us to take an initiative to urge officials to form a government quickly, despite the hidden and malicious intentions to impede the formation of a government of competence (outside the political parties) that is immune to politicization, which would return Lebanon to the nation system, and some in it do not control the joints of the state.”
One country, not states
He stressed that “the Lebanese want to live in one state, not mini-states for parties and influential people.”
Al-Rahi met, last week, with President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri, and Free Patriotic Movement President Gebran Bassil (Aoun’s son-in-law), and asked to accelerate the formation of the government.
Yesterday, Wednesday, Hariri stressed the need to form the government after New Year (end of this month), noting that there are “complications” surrounding the matter.
On December 9, Hariri announced that he had presented Aoun with “a government formation of 18 ministers with specialization, regardless of party affiliation.”
Finally, Aoun announced his objection to what he said was Hariri’s “uniqueness” by “naming ministers, especially Christians, without agreeing with the presidency.”
On October 22, Aoun assigned Hariri to form a government, after his predecessor, Mustafa Adib, apologized for the failure of his mission to form it.
Lebanon has been unable to form a rescue government since the current caretaker government headed by Hassan Diab resigned, 6 days after a major explosion in the port of the capital Beirut, on August 4.