BEIRUT — Lebanon's caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati has canceled Monday's cabinet meeting due to "some people's attempts to drag the country into a sectarian division to fuel conflicts," the premier said in a statement issued Saturday.
Cabinet was scheduled to meet on Monday to discuss the economic crisis’ impact on “different sectors, including public sector employees and retirees.” Employees of state telecom operator Ogero are the latest group of state employees to go on an open-ended strike to demand a salary adjustment.
"Due to some people's attempts to drag the country into a sectarian division to fuel conflicts and because we bear the constitutional responsibility with patriotic conviction … we announce the cancellation of the cabinet session that was scheduled for Monday," Mikati said in his statement.
"The MPs and the concerned political and spiritual leaders have the responsibility of electing a new president and forming a new government. Let each party bear its responsibility," the premier added.
Public administration employees, meanwhile, have also been on strike for eight months to demand salary adjustments. Some public school teachers, who had been on a monthslong strike, returned to classrooms earlier this month while others continued to strike over unsatisfactory payment terms.
Mikati's decision to postpone daylight savings time in Lebanon by one month was met by outrage from many politicians in the country, while several major local TV channels, media outlets, schools and archdioceses announced that they would not abide by the decision.
Some view Mikati's decision as confessional, saying that it was made in view of the impact it would have on the country's Muslim population during the month of Ramadan when many members of the faith fast from sunrise to sunset.