Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri snapped back Monday at President Michel Aoun’s adviser, ex-minister Salim Jreissati, and accused Baabda of being the party delaying the formation of the new government.
Hariri’s statement, issued by his press office, comes in response to an open letter addressed to him by Jreissati that has been published in An-Nahar newspaper.
Below is the full text of an English-language statement distributed by Hariri’s press office:
“The open letter addressed by the Advisor to the President of the Republic, Minister Salim Jreissati, to Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri, in An-Nahar newspaper, requires drawing his attention to two matters.
First: The answers that the advisor is looking for are with His Excellency the President of the Republic.
Second: The information he missed is perhaps due to the advisor’s lack of access to all the data that the President has.
The Prime Minister-designate met with the President of the Republic 12 times, in a relentless attempt to reach an understanding on the formation of the government. Each time, he would express his satisfaction with the discussion, but unfortunately, things would change when Premier Hariri left Baabda Palace.
The Prime Minister-designate wants a government of non-partisan specialists to stop the collapse of the country and rebuild what was destroyed by the port explosion. For his part, the President is asking for a government in which all political parties are represented, whether those who nominated the Prime Minister-designate or those that objected to his nomination, which will inevitably lead to controlling it and repeating the experiences of several governments controlled by quotas and political tensions.
It is possible that His Excellency the President of the Republic did not inform his advisor that the Prime Minister-designate, during his last visit to Baabda Palace a few days ago, presented a complete government lineup with names and portfolios, including four names from the list that the President presented to the Prime Minister-designate in their second meeting, a list that includes the names of candidates, men and women, considered suitable for the position by the president. If his Excellency did not provide his advisor with the government lineup, the Press Office of the Prime Minister-designate is fully prepared to provide it to him as soon as possible.
It may be useful for the advisor to know that Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri, since his designation to form the government, has not stopped communicating with international funds, international financing institutions and the governments of brotherly and friendly countries, and now has an integrated program to launch a well-studied mechanism to stop the collapse and rebuild what was destroyed by the port explosion, implement reforms and approve essential laws such as the Capital Control Law.
All this awaits the signature of the President of the Republic on the decrees to form the government and putting aside the partisan interests pressuring him, especially the demand of a blocking third by one party, which will never happen under any pretext.
It may be also useful for the Advisor to know that the goal is not for Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri to become prime minister, nor to form just any government, but rather to stop the collapse and reconstruct. This can only happen by implementing reforms that persuade the Lebanese and the international community to pull the country out from the pit in which it has been stumbling for a year and a half. It would be better for the Advisor to address his letter to the party responsible for delaying the formation, which is steps away from his office in the Presidential Palace.”