Lebanon faces ‘hell’ if new government isn’t formed, President Aoun warns

Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun has conceded that there is no clear solution to the political gridlock that has prevented the creation of a new government, warning that his country was staring into the abyss.

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Aoun said on Monday that the country is going “to hell” if a government isn’t formed soon, and proposed getting rid of sectarian quotas in the main cabinet ministries in order to speed up the process. The Lebanese president said only a “miracle” would resolve the standoff between the Shia parties on the one hand and the Sunni Prime Minister-designate Mustapha Adib and his supporters on the other. 

“With the hardening of positions, there does not appear to be any solution on the horizon, because all the proposed solutions amount to a ‘victor and a vanquished’,” Aoun said during a televised address. 

Cabinet positions were supposed to be filled by September 15, but negotiations have stalled over which party should control the finance ministry. Adib has urged his colleagues to fulfill a political plan proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron, who says that Lebanon must carry out reforms if it hopes to secure badly needed foreign aid. 

“Any additional delay exacerbates the crisis and deepens it,” the prime minister-designate said in a statement. “Lebanon doesn’t have the luxury of wasting time amid the unprecedented number of crises that it is going through.” 

The political crisis comes after a horrific explosion in the capital of Beirut on August 4, which killed more than 200 people and prompted the entire government to resign. 

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