President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, called on the Parliament to “take the initiative to remove the assignment from the current government, so that it would immediately be possible to commission someone else and issue formation decrees right away to avoid vacuum.”
In a letter addressed to the Parliament Council through House Speaker Nabih Berri, President Aoun highlighted “the Prime Minister-designate’s refusal to form a government pursuant to the provisions of Articles 53 (paragraph 4) and 64 (clause 2) of the Constitution, affirming the conducting of business in the narrow sense of the cabinet that he currently presides over and which was considered to have resigned pursuant to Article 69 (paragraph 1, clause 5), while Lebanon is on the verge of presidential vacuum amidst imminent entitlements at all national levels that cannot endure any void in view of their dangerous repercussions on the people, the entity and the Charter.”
The President continued to underline that Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati “is not enthusiastic about the cabinet formation for various reasons, including that the priority is to elect a president, and if that happens, why should we take the initiative to form a government,” and his saying that “there is no interest in forming a new government and bearing full responsibility while there is no full responsibility for him and the government in a caretaker state of affairs.”
Aoun added that his meetings with Mikati revolved around a cycle of mobile obstacles that emptied them of every useful and practical progress in terms of a new cabinet formation, thus revealing the PM-designate’s unwillingness to form a new government to appear before parliament to gain confidence and put an end to conducting of business in the narrow sense. “Our certainty has been strengthened that he is unwilling to form a government, but rather to continue at the head of a caretaker government and to bet on time until reaching presidential vacuum,” Aoun maintained.
He added: “What is more dangerous is that the head of the caretaker government, who is commissioned but abstains from cabinet formation, wishes to hold sessions of the Council of Ministers in the absence of the Parliament Council’s monitoring, thus breaching the concept of conducting business in the narrow sense and the principle of separation, balance and cooperation of powers, which is one of the pillars of our parliamentary democratic constitutional system (Paragraphs C and E of the preamble to the Constitution).”
Subsequently, President Aoun stressed that “the constitutional chaos that threatens the entity and the charter is rejected by us as long as we are in the presidency and have sworn an oath of loyalty to the constitution and laws of the Lebanese nation.”
He added: “We address you with this letter to inform you of the reality of the situation and warn of how matters may deviate to a course that is not in the interest of the country, pursuant to the responsibility of the House of Representatives and its competence in assigning and then granting confidence to the government and holding it accountable,” calling for discussing this immediate message in the General Assembly, in view of the imperatives of safeguarding Lebanon from the dangers that threaten the state, its people, its charter, constitution and entity.
Aoun hoped in his letter that through the Parliament Council, the Lebanese national partnership and the necessities of coexistence will be achieved, urging the Parliament to take the necessary position, procedure, or decision required in this respect.