BEIRUT — The Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) rejected the scheduling of a "severed" caretaker cabinet meeting, which the party described as "unconstitutional."
In a statement issued Tuesday night, the FPM declared they will boycott the meeting, which is scheduled for Wednesday.
On Monday, caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati scheduled the cabinet session after a long course of negotiations with political parties to discuss electricity, as state power provider Électricité du Liban struggles with a lack of fuel.
In their statement, the FPM said they "reject that the severed government convenes in an unconstitutional session with the excuse of securing electricity."
"Constitutional solutions are available to provide fuel through mobile decrees [to be signed by the concerned ministers], which would secure the interests of the people without allowing violations of the Constitution and the National Pact that would deepen the divisions and take the country towards the unknown," the statement continued.
Most Christian ministers are expected to boycott Wednesday's cabinet meeting.
"All ministers who participate in the cabinet meetings will bear responsibility for assaulting the National Pact and violating the Constitution," the FPM added.
Ministers from Hezbollah, FPM's political ally, are expected to attend the session— a move that further deepens the rift between the two parties. Hezbollah has been supporting the presidential candidacy of Sleiman Frangieh, a rival of FPM leader Gebran Bassil.
Lebanon's government has been in caretaker status since May 2022 following the parliamentary elections. It is also grappling with a presidential vacancy since Michel Aoun left office on Oct. 31. Following the end of Aoun's term, Parliament agreed that the cabinet will not meet except in cases of emergency.
Lebanon's caretaker Energy Minister Walid Fayad on Monday announced that he sent decrees to other ministers demanding a credit advance from the government's treasury amounting to $300 million. The decrees were rejected by Mikati, who insists on convening the cabinet to discuss electricity funding.
The state-owned Électricité du Liban (EDL) had to shut down its power plants last week due to a lack of fuel, causing political tension between Mikati and the Free Patriotic Movement.