Lebanon announced its new government over a year after the previous government quit after the Beirut port explosion. Najib Mikati, the richest man in Lebanon, had become the prime minister. He has held this position twice before.
The political paralysis came to an end with his appointment and the naming of a new cabinet. Lebanon has grappled with some of the severest domestic crises in its history.
The value of the currency of this country has collapsed. Inflation and unemployment are on the rise. Moreover, other problems include fuel, medicine, and electricity scarcity. Two years of protest calling out for wholesales political reforms has already affected the root of the country.
Lebanon has been performing without a properly functioning government since the resignation of Prime Minister Hassan Diab. Mr. Hassaan also resigned after a massive blast that took place on 4th August 2020, which destroyed the Beirut port and its surrounding port.
The explosion took place with improperly stored ammonium nitrate. It has killed 203 people, and 6000 people have been injured. This blast has also resulted in billions of dollars of damage.
The disaster took place in the middle of the pandemic. It has triggered a wave of outrage against the previous administration and questioned the political system of Lebanon. Protesters have also blamed the blast on corruption, a system of patronage, and incompetence where jobs are given in return for political support.
After announcing the new government, Mr. Mikati said his priorities would be to restart talks with the International Monetary Fund. It will help to secure a financial rescue package. The country is currently in a critical situation. The growing strain on education and healthcare actors is proof of that. Also, the increasing number of people leaving this country is another problem.
He further added that despite his one health, he thought about the impact of the current crisis on the lives of people. He said, “I have three children… outside Lebanon. So I feel with people. I feel the kind of poverty, the kind of hunger they are in, the fear they have of the future. So this is not just a matter of money or not [having] money.”
The delicate sectarian power-sharing system of Lebanon has stymied the attempts to form a government after the resignation of Hassan Diab. Since the end of the war in 1975- 89 political power, a was in much balance with the president a Christian, Speaker a Shia Muslim and PM, a Sunni Muslim. A problem in agreeing on the nomination of ministers to the satisfaction of various factions and blocks made the process held up.
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