Lebanese politicians believe government will be formed this week
Lebanon appeared to move closer to forming a new government on Wednesday after months of wrangling, with politicians from rival political factions indicating they believed it would happen this week, Trend reports referring to Reuters.
Lebanon urgently needs a government to start addressing its extensive economic ills, which include a public debt equal to around 150 percent of GDP and years of low growth.
Asked if the government would be formed within 24 to 48 hours, Abdul Rahim Mrad told al-Jadeed TV: “I believe it will have been formed, I believe so because the atmosphere today is this.”
He is one of six pro-Hezbollah Sunni Muslim MPs whose representation in the cabinet has been one of several obstacles to the formation of the government to be led by prime minister-designate Saad al-Hariri, also a Sunni.
Hariri said on Tuesday that this week would be decisive in efforts to form the government, but warned that this was “a last chance” to settle things.
Caretaker information minister Melhem Riachi, of the anti-Hezbollah Christian Lebanese Forces party, wrote on Twitter: “And finally it is concluded on Friday Feb 1 2019,” without elaborating.
Discussions over a new national unity government began after May’s national election, the first in nine years, and aimed to distribute cabinet positions among Lebanon’s main political blocs and according to its delicate sectarian balance.