BEIRUT: The dispute over who will be in charge of the Ministry of Finance in the Lebanese government escalated on Sunday with the end of the deadline to form a government of specialists separate from the parties in power.
The disagreement showed that those who were formerly allies of Hezbollah in power have now become its opponent in forming the government.
The Lebanese are waiting to see whether the prime minister-designate, Mustapha Adib, will go to the presidential palace on Monday to present a draft of his government formation, regardless of the disagreement — or to apologize for not completing the task he was assigned to do on Aug. 31.
In his Sunday sermon, the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rai continued his criticism of the insistence of the Amal Movement and Hezbollah in holding on to the finance portfolio.
Rai asked: “In what capacity does a sect claim a certain ministry as if it were its own, and disrupt the formation of the government until it achieves its goal? It thus causes political paralysis and economic, financial and livelihood damage. What has become of the political forces’ agreement for reform: A miniature salvation government, independent specialists with political experience and portfolio rotation?”
Rai referred to the constitution, which stipulated that jobs be divided equally between Christians and Muslims. “Has the constitution been amended suddenly, or are matters imposed by some force or bullying? This is unacceptable.”
Rai called on the prime minister-designate Adib to “abide by the constitution, form a government and not be subject to conditions, nor to delay, or to apologize.”
The Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) attacked the conditions of the Amal Movement and Hezbollah.