STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENCY OF THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS ON THE CURRENT CRISIS

The Presidency of the Council of Ministers’ Press Office has issued the following statement:

No sane person would accept this political impotence, the interruption of the meaningful dialogue among relevant parties, and the disruption of all ways out that would lead to a settlement with regard to forming an effective government capable of addressing the severe financial, economic, social and living crises, so as to stop the downfall caused by decades-long accumulated wrong financial policies, and which is currently deepened by the sharp political division that has been preventing the formation of the government for more than ten months, and is causing the collapse of the national currency.

The serious crisis that the country has reached, requires collective consciousness to reverse the comprehensive collapse that increases the suffering of the Lebanese and cuts off the path to any rescue plan, after personal accounts had “masked facts” and put the government’s recovery plan on hold for more than a year now. Had the plan been implemented, Lebanon and the Lebanese would have been spared manylosses.

But ironically, some are trying to hide theirpolitical impotence behind smoke bombs, and to hold the caretaker government responsible for their impotence, through calls to “reinstate” and “reactivate” the caretaker government, pushing it to violate the Constitution.

In view of these facts, we recall and emphasize the following:

1- The priority remains, always and forever, theformation of a new Cabinet to end the political division that is pushing the country towards a devastating collision at all levels.

2- The formation of the government is a national responsibility, and under the current circumstances, it is considered a sacred mission for which all concerned parties are supposed to mobilize. Since the delay in government formation constitutes a slam to the homeland and citizens, and causes the orchestrated fluctuation in the US dollar exchange rate, which is the root of all problems. In fact, the dollar exchange ratehas doubled since the resignation of the government, together with the shortage of medicine and fuel, and the aggravation of electricity and hospital crises.

3- The hidden and visible pursuit of the resigned government’s “reinstatement” and “reactivation” is not based on any constitutional provision; thus, it is an attempt to bypass constitutional facts represented by the resignation of the government and the binding parliamentary consultations that have led to the designation of a new prime minister.

4- The Constitution explicitly equates the government’s mandate before the vote ofconfidence with the government’s powers after its resignation. The government is entitled, after its formation and before gaining confidence, with exactly the same powers granted to the resigned government. Article 64 (2) stipulates the following: “… The government shall not exercise its powers before it gains confidence nor after it has resigned or is considered resigned, except in the narrow sense of a care-taker government.” Any interpretation of this text is contrary to what is stipulated and applicable since the drafting of the Constitution, which was previously confirmed by the Parliament.

5- The calls to “reinstate” and “reactivate” the resigned government constitute an acknowledgment of the failure, and an attempt to circumvent the main goal of forming a new government, which means conceding to the vacuum that should never be surrendered to.

6- The exceptional, difficult and historical circumstances that Lebanon is going through call for a national mobilization and concessions from all parties, to form a government that has the authority to resume negotiations with the International Monetary Fund, on the basis of the recovery plan elaborated by the resigned government.

7- In light of the increasing financial and social pressures on citizens due to the delay in forming the government, some political forces are trying to evade their responsibilities and blame the caretaker government for their failure and inability to forge an understanding on the future government. Some of these forces, while being directly responsible for the current deadlock, are even trying to hold the caretaker government accountable for their practices and impotence.

8- The resigned government bore, with great and historical responsibility, the burden of the wrong policies that brought the country to a state of collapse, and developed a transparent and objective plan to address this collapse, which was commended by the International Monetary Fund and several international bodies. If it were not for the waste of time by politicians, economists and financial experts, who tried to resist that plan in an attempt to disrupt it and plunge the country into a state of financial and economic chaos, the recovery would have started a year ago.

9- The resigned government carried out its duties in full over the course of six months in its capacity as a full-fledged government; and after its resignation, it continued to carry out its dutiesas a caretaker government, with the highest degree of national responsibility; it has deployedthe utmost effort, and its president and ministershave been following up, daily and around the clock, all files. They have been striving to address the chronic and urgent problems, and they did not fail in dealing with all files and tasks. Had it not been for this continuous effort, the problems would have been much greater. Consequently, this government, which faced the greatest challenges in Lebanon’s history, exerted its utmost efforts, abiding by national principlesand scientific standards, since its formation over a period of six months, and after its resignation for more than ten months now.

10- Doing things quietly is the characteristic of this government, and it did not try to capitalizeon the individual and collective efforts exerted by its president and ministers, for political or electoral purposes, because the main concern is a national rather than a personal one, and as the priority is for people, not politics.

11- The resigned government has completed the financing card draft, as well as the World Bank loan program to help vulnerable families. It has developed many formulas to rationalize subsidies, which are awaiting approval of the financing card by the Parliament to determine the appropriate one. The government is also addressing the various life, living and social affairs of citizens, and is seeking to mitigate the repercussions of the BdL’s decision to stop financing the import of gasoline, diesel, medicine and fuel for electricity, which we did not agree to without the financing card.

The Presidency of the Council of Ministersassures that it will not fail to put forth its best effort to alleviate the impact of the crisis and conduct state affairs in the sense of a caretaker government, in the hope that political forces will assume their responsibilities in expediting the formation of a new government, so that crossing the dark tunnel does not take long.– Caretaker PM Press office

Source: National News Agency