Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri on Saturday lashed out at President Michel Aoun and accused him of obstructing the formation of the long-awaited government.
“The President is violating the constitution by insisting on granting the government his own confidence and he should let parliament vote on confidence,” Hariri said at a parliament session dedicated to debating a letter sent by Aoun to parliament regarding the complications that are blocking the new cabinet.
“I won’t form the government in the way the President’s camp wants, nor in the way that any group wants, and I’ll only form a government of specialists,” Hariri emphasized.
He added that Aoun’s letter is aimed at “absolving the president of the charge of obstructing formation, similarly to the letters addressed to foreign capitals to protect some entourage, associates and the political party from sanctions.”
“The President is asking MPs to rid him of the PM-designate whom they named, because he does not want him and will not allow him to form a government,” Hariri lamented.
The PM-designate also stressed that the Lebanese, especially after the October 17 uprising, “will not accept a return to the former way of running the country, including the appointment of cronies to ministerial posts.”
Speaker Nabih Berri meanwhile announced that parliament’s stance on Aoun’s letter is to “uphold Saad Hariri’s designation.”
Parliament “calls for the formation of a government by the PM-designate in agreement with the President,” Berri added.
Hariri had earlier walked out of parliament during remarks by Free Patriotic Movement chief MP Jebran Bassil — Aoun’s son-in-law and the head of the party he founded.
In his letter Aoun had blamed Hariri for the delay in forming the government, asking parliament to take “the appropriate stance, measure or decision for the sake of the people.”
“He is still detaining and perpetuating the formation… and he is also imprisoning the people and governance, taking them together as a hostage… and ignoring every reasonable deadline for formation,” the president charged.