Several Lebanese ministers have expressed their opposition to the resignation of two ministers belonging to one of the main Christian groups, the Kataeb Party, from government a day earlier
Several Lebanese ministers have expressed their opposition to the resignation of two ministers belonging to one of the main Christian groups, the Kataeb Party, from government a day earlier.
Environment Minister Mohamad Machnouk Wednesday called on the Kataeb Party leader Sami Gemayel to reconsider his decision to withdraw his representatives from Cabinet, according to the Daily Star.
“We are all suffering in the Cabinet, and it’s better to have a strong opposition internally, than an absence and a disruption of the political balance,” Machnouk tweeted.
The Kataeb Party announced the resignation of Labor Minister Sejaan Azzi and Economy Minister Alain Hakim Tuesday.
“The Cabinet has been transformed from a symbol of state continuity to a symbol of state erosion... The country and the economy cannot continue this way in light of the deals being struck,” Gemayel said after chairing a meeting of the group’s political bureau. “Because of all these reasons, the Kataeb Party has decided to resign from the Cabinet.”
Education Minister Elias Bou Saab, who belongs to the Free Patriotic Movement, voiced his regret over the move, saying there was partnership and coordination with Kataeb Party on several government issues.
In an interview with the Lebanese newspaper Al-Joumhouria issued Wednesday, Bou Saab refused the notion that the resignation of Hakim and Azzi will corner FPM ministers by putting pressure on them to agree on decisions.
Bou Saab said it is too early to talk about how the government will work in the coming phase, especially since the FPM is now considered to be the main Cabinet representative of the Christian parties.
Prime Minister Tammam Salam has yet to issue an official statement on the ministers’ resignation. However, sources close to the Lebanese daily Al-Liwaa said that Salam considered the move to be a “mistake.”
“It is not acceptable to disable the country in these circumstances for any reason,” the sources quoted Salam as saying to visitors at his Beirut residence Tuesday night.
The resignations are not final, as they have not yet been accepted by Salam, who has previously described the Cabinet as “the Cabinet of garbage and corruption.”