Nov 17, 2019 05:46 UTC
  • Lebanon PM hopeful Safadi withdraws candidacy: Reports

Lebanon has slipped into further political uncertainty as a candidate to fill the vacant post of the country’s premiership has decided to halt his bid.

According to Press TV, Lebanese broadcasters LBCI and al-Jadeed reported on Saturday that Mohammad Safadi had withdrawn his candidacy to be the head of the next Lebanese government.

A later statement by Safadi said he had found it difficult to form a “harmonious” government that could launch reforms requested by the people of Lebanon during weeks of street protests.  

“It is difficult to form a harmonious government supported by all political sides that could take the immediate salvation steps needed to halt the country’s economic and financial deterioration and respond to the aspirations of people in the street,” said Safadi.

However, other reports suggested major political parties had yet come to a final decision on the issue and endorse Safadi as the next PM.

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri told al-Joumhouria newspaper that the political situation in Lebanon was getting more complicated, comments that suggested a consensus on Safadi that was reported two days ago had yet to become final.

 “Things are becoming more complicated and a quick solution is needed to get Lebanon out of this crisis,” Berri said.

Lebanese media said on Thursday that major political parties, including the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah and its allied Amal group, had agreed to allow Safadi to form a new government after former Prime Minister Sa’ad al-Hariri resigned on October 29.

Political sources said protests against corruption and mismanagement in Lebanon would only escalate if Safadi, a prominent businessman who is regarded as a member of the ruling elite, takes charge of a new government.

Under Lebanon’s sectarian power-sharing system, the prime minister should be chosen from the country’s Sunni population.

The nominee for the post should be endorsed by Lebanese President Michel Aoun, a Maronite Christian, who himself should consult members of parliament led by Berri who is a Shia Muslim.

Safadi said in his Saturday statement that it was better for Lebanon to have Hariri back as prime minister. Hezbollah and Amal have also urged Hariri to continue in the post despite disagreement on the formation of a future cabinet.