Parl’t Speaker Berri: Lebanon Will Sink Like the Titanic with No Gov’t
By Staff, Agencies
Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri Monday warned that Lebanon was in "danger" if a new government wasn't formed in the next two months, and that the country was going to sink like the Titanic.
"The country is in danger if a government isn't formed in two months. The country as a whole is [like the] Titanic and no one will remain as everyone will sink and the country will sink with us all," Berri said during a Parliament session at the UNESCO Palace in Beirut.
Lawmakers gathered Monday morning to discuss two draft laws, one on the return of squandered funds and the other to approve a $200 million advance from the 2021 state budget for Electrcite du Liban to be able to generate power for the country. Both laws were passed.
Responding to an MP who asked him what they would do in a month and a half when the $200 million advance was used up, Berri said "after a month and a half, there won't be a country if we stay this way."
Deputy Parliament Speaker Elie Ferzli meanwhile also said that most MPs would not agree to approve another advance from the state budget to EDL if a government wasn't formed in the next two months and "all of Lebanon will be exposed to darkness."
The country is still waiting for a new government to be formed nine months after caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab's Cabinet resigned.
Diab in the past month has threatened that he would stop performing his duties as caretaker prime minister in a bid to pressure political forces to form a government as he faced criticism for both being passive and overstepping his caretaker role. Last week he once again sought an explanation of the Constitution on what the caretaker duties of a resigned government are.
In response to this, Berri said that the Constitution was clear with regards to caretaker duties in a narrow scope and did not need interpretation, as it calls for conducting necessary business that benefits the people.
"They [Diab's caretaker Cabinet] have left all the work they have on us and have come to tell us to interpret the Constitution ... if what they are asking is to change the Constitution, then this matter does not exist in our dictionary," Berri said.