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Lebanon must appoint new Central Bank chief to avoid 'action' by deputy governors - statement

July 6, 2023 at 4:50 pm

The Central Bank, Beirut, Lebanon on July 19, 2022. [Houssam Shbaro – Anadolu Agency ]

The deputy governors of Lebanon’s Central Bank, on Thursday, urged authorities to appoint a new head of the institution to take over when current Governor, Riad Salameh’s term ends later this month, warning they would “be forced” to take action otherwise, Reuters reports.

Salameh, whose 30-year tenure as Governor has been stained lately by charges at home and abroad of embezzlement of public funds in Lebanon, is expected to leave his post when his term ends in late July. He denies the charges.

Lebanese authorities have not named a successor, with political sources citing the difficulty of naming someone to the role as Lebanon remains in the midst of a crippling financial crisis.

In a rare statement on Thursday that was shared with Reuters by the Central Bank, the four deputy governors said the Central Bank could not be run in a caretaker capacity.

“We see it as our duty to stress the necessity of appointing a governor …  as soon as possible, otherwise we will be forced to take the action we deem appropriate for the public interest,” the statement said, without explaining what the action may be.

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