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[Published: Sunday September 27 2020]

 Lebanon PM-designate steps down 

BEIRUT 27 Sep (ANA) - Lebanon’s prime minister-designate Mustapha Adib has announced his resignation after his efforts to line up a non-partisan cabinet ran into trouble, particularly over who would run the finance ministry.
In a televised address on Saturday, Adib said he was stepping down from “the task of forming the government” following a meeting with President Michel Aoun.
Adib, a former ambassador to Berlin, was picked on August 31 to form a cabinet after the last government led by Hassan Diab resigned following the Beirut port blast on August 4 that killed some 200 people and left thousands homeless.
But the formation of a new government was hit by a logjam over the demand of two dominant Shia parties – Iran-backed Hezbollah and its ally, the Amal Movement – to name Shia ministers in the cabinet.
Shia leaders feared being sidelined as Adib, a Sunni Muslim, sought to shake up appointments to ministries, some of which have been controlled by the same faction for years, politicians said.
Adib’s resignation came days after President Aoun told reporters Lebanon would be going to “hell” if a new government was not formed soon.
It also deals a blow to French President Emmanuel Macron’s efforts to break the political stalemate as Lebanon faces its worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.
Reporting from Beirut, Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr said Lebanon’s “different political parties [had] promised Macron the government would be in place by mid-September”.(ANA)
FA/ANA/27 September 2020-------

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