| 20 April 2024, Saturday |

Future MP Hajjar calls on President to cooperate with Hariri to save Lebanon

Future Movement MP Mohammad Hajjar called on President Michel Aoun Sunday to cooperate with Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri to rescue the country threatened with total economic collapse and chaos by agreeing to a Cabinet of nonpartisan specialists with no veto power granted to any side.

Future MP  also said Hariri fully supported Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rahi’s declaration in an Easter speech in which he called for the formation of a Cabinet of nonpartisan specialists without a third block to any party as stipulated by the French initiative designed to steer Lebanon out of its worst financial and economic crunch since the 1975-90 Civil War.

Hajjar’s plea came as Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri was reported to be waiting for positive signals from Aoun and Hariri before launching an initiative aimed at breaking the deadlock that has left for nearly eight months the country without a fully empowered government to cope with multiple crises, including an unprecedented financial downturn that has sent the Lebanese pound crashing and losing more than 90 percent its value since October 2019, and subsequently put half of Lebanon’s population of 6 million below the poverty line.

“With regard to the Cabinet crisis, what Patriarch Rai said yesterday [Saturday] is the same position adopted by Prime Minister Saad Hariri, which means that the next Cabinet, in order to be able to implement the required reforms and missions outlined in the French initiative, must be a government of nonpartisan specialists with no blocking third [veto power] granted to any side,” Hajjar told The Daily Star.

“The conditions for Lebanon’s salvation exist in this formula: A government of nonpartisan specialists without a blocking third to any party,” he added.