BEIRUT — Sami Gemayel, the head of Kataeb party, said Monday that his parliamentary bloc will be not participate in a “rationed government,” stressing the need to form a government without delays and adding that “the prime minister-designate must present a lineup within the next two weeks because it is not possible to wait,” the state-run National News Agency reported.
Here's what we know:
• Following his meeting with PM-designate Najib Mikati for the non-binding parliamentary consultations to form a government, Gemayel said that "it is necessary to form a government, for every day the Banque du Liban spends $25 million from the [foreign] reserves, which could be spent on education and people's health, all because the [political] class is stalling for the presidential elections.”
• Gemayel added that if the government formation obstruction continues, “everyone must bear their responsibility,” pointing out that if everyone, during the binding parliamentary consultations for naming a prime minister, “had renamed Nawaf Salam as in the past, we would have had an independent government. Unfortunately all the blocs ignored their responsibilities and left matters for the next four months.” President Michel Aoun's term in office ends this October and a new president would be elected.
• Nawaf Salam is the former ambassador and permanent representative of Lebanon to the United Nations, and a judge on the International Court of Justice in the Netherlands since 2018. Salam was the main contender for the prime minister-designate post against Mikati.
• Government departments are usually divided among Lebanon's myriad religious sects and competing political parties instead of functioning as a single unit.
• For his part, MP Michel Moawad also said that his parliamentary bloc, the North of Confrontation, will boycott the next cabinet. Moawad also denounced the a government of :national unity,” adding that this "perpetuates the [political] deadlock.”
• The first day of non-binding parliamentary consultations has ended. Consultations will continue Tuesday.