10/08/2020, 14.47
LEBANON
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Maronite bishops outraged by the 'manoeuvres’ that are delaying the formation of a new cabinet

During their monthly meeting at Bkerké, the prelates called for a cabinet of "specialists and reformers". They warn against "personal interests" in the face of an increasingly "catastrophic" situation. They complain of “violations of the Constitution" by Hezbollah and Amal, and of the slowness of the investigations into the twin explosions at the port.

Beirut (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Lebanon’s Maronite bishops express their "outrage" at the "political manoeuvres" that are delaying the formation of a new government capable of saving the country.

In their monthly meeting, held yesterday at the patriarchal see in Bkerké, the heads of the Lebanese Church focused again on the political, economic and institutional crisis that has hit the country. To solve it, they made once again a heartfelt appeal for a cabinet made up of "specialists and reformers”.

In a statement issued after their meeting, the prelate said that a sense of duty to the country “should push leaders to put aside their personal interests” in the face of an "overall situation" that can be described as "catastrophic".

The press release goes on to call for a government "of salvation, made up of reform-minded specialists capable of regaining the trust of the people and the international community” so as to solve the worsening “financial and socio-economic problems”.

Once again, in sounding a wake-up call to the country’s politicians and elites, the Maronite Church is expressing its concerns for the political, economic and institutional crisis that has affected the country for some time now.

The COVID-19 has given a coup de grace to an already precarious situation, with 55 per cent of the population below the poverty amid a extant emergency that has also triggered, among other things, an increase in suicides.

The Maronite bishops also complained of the "violations of the Constitution", in particular over the selection of the prime minister and confessional make-up of the cabinet.

The reference is to a request by Hezbollah and Amal, two pro-Iranian Shia parties, to appoint a Shia to head the Finance Ministry, a key post to manage the government’s coffers.

Finally, the Maronite bishops deplored the "shortcomings" of the authorities with respect to the aftermath of the twin explosions of 4 August at the Port of Beirut.

In particular, they slammed "the slowness of the investigations into the real culprits" of this tragedy, which killed more than 200 people and injured another 6,500.

The prelates hope that the victims will receive proper compensation and the damaged buildings will be repaired.

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