| 8 December 2023, Friday |

BDL deputies weigh resignation over legislation dispute

In a significant political development, the four deputies of the Lebanese Central Bank are refusing to assume governing responsibilities as of August 1 without proper tools.

However, if the parliamentary council and the government do not respond to their proposed plan, they seriously consider a collective resignation, believing that navigating through the crisis requires practical tools.

Upcoming Monday, Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati will meet with the first deputy governor, Wassim Mansouri, to hear the government’s response to the request of the four deputies in the Administration and Justice Committee.

The deputies have requested a set of laws, including the parliament, to allow the government to borrow from the Banque du Liban (BDL) for a maximum period of six months to cover public sector salaries and secure essential supplies.

This condition serves as a warning to the cabinet, signaling that it is the final loan they will grant, contingent on implementing a comprehensive reform plan.

However, the question remains whether the parliamentary blocs will accept such legislation.

The Lebanese Forces party considered throwing the ball in the parliament’s court unacceptable, as it is the government’s responsibility to prepare a draft and refer it to the council.

It also asked “how they can accept borrowing from the government when they already know it lacks the ability to repay the loan,” adding that the priority should be to properly elect a president for the legislation.

In this context, the Lebanese Forces bloc has not yet convened to discuss the proposals, but they are not opposed to legislating out of necessity to stabilize the financial situation. However, this is subject to a thorough examination of the four deputies’ proposals.

The Progressive Socialist Party stressed that either a new governor should be appointed or the ruling deputies should assume their responsibilities in collaboration with the parliament, but without preconditions.

Sources from the Reform and Change Bloc confirmed to LBCI that they don’t accept the legislation, urging first to elect a President.

The notable position comes from the Development and Liberation Bloc, whose deputies were among the strongest critics of the BDL deputies’ plan.

Moreover, they believe that legislating without clear answers from BDL deputies is unacceptable, and the responsibility for overall policy lies with the government, not the central bank.

However, Hezbollah, whose deputies were absent from the Administration and Justice Committee session, refrained from commenting on the legislation, maintaining the stance that any proposal will be studied before taking a position.

As the situation unfolds, it becomes evident that more complications lie ahead.

Could the rejection of legislation force BDL deputies to resign, leading them to govern until a new president is elected?

The political landscape remains unpredictable, and intentions may become apparent.

  • LBCI