BEIRUT — Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Gebran Bassil in an interview Saturday warned that his party would take moves to push for a vote-of-no confidence in Lebanon’s parliament on Premier Najib Mikati’s paralyzed cabinet, which has not met since Oct. 12.
Here’s what we know:
• “If we had to choose between no government and an inactive government, it would be better to form a new government,” Bassil, the son-in-law of President Michel Aoun, told local daily Al-Joumhouria.
• The FPM chief said that his party was “heading towards a request for the withdrawal of confidence in the cabinet,” adding that he thought Mikati was “partially responsible” for the failure of his government to meet in over three months.
• “The FPM did not appoint Mikati [as premier] and had linked its [initial] granting of confidence to [the cabinet] with the government's performance. The country can no longer wait for him to take an initiative,” he added.
• Bassil also spoke about Mikati’s comments on Jan. 5 that he would convene the cabinet to discuss the state budget once it was prepared. “Is Mikati unaware that Finance Minister Youssef Khalil will not submit the draft budget to him without a political decision,” Bassil asked.
• Bassil’s comment implied that Khalil was constrained by the political objectives of the Amal Movement and Hezbollah, which have said they will boycott the government until Judge Tarek Bitar is removed from the investigation into the 2020 Beirut port explosion.