France yesterday backed a proposal by former Lebanese Prime Minister, Saad Hariri, that could help with the formation of the country’s new cabinet amid the worst crisis since the 1975-90 civil war.
â€śThis declaration represents an opening and all parties should understand its importance so that a government of mission can now be established,â€ť the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
On Tuesday, Hariri – a leading Sunni politician – offered a way out of the political deadlock by proposing an â€śindependentâ€ť Shia candidate to be named as finance minister. But he stressed that the move would not mean that the position â€śshould always be held by a Shia leaderâ€ť. This comes as the larger Shia blocs, Hezbollah and Amal, have insisted they hold the Finance Ministry in any new government.
Paris has been pressing politicians for the quick formation of a government that â€świll draw up reforms to tackle corruption and help attract international aid to fix an economy drowning in debts.â€ť The countryâ€™s problems were compounded by a devastating blast at Beirut port on 4 August. Subsequent fires in and around the area and an explosion on Tuesday in south Lebanon have further rattled the nation.
Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Mustapha Adib, a Sunni Muslim under Lebanonâ€™s sectarian system of power-sharing, had sought to shake up ministerial positions with a new cabinet of specialists.