Lebanon’s Prime Minister-Designate Resigns, Deepening Country’s Political Crisis

Lebanon’s Prime Minister-Designate Resigns, Deepening Country’s Political Crisis
BEIRUT—Lebanon’s prime minister-designate abandoned his efforts to form a government, thwarting a French-led initiative that sought to end a political impasse and unlock international aid after a massive explosion destroyed nearly half the capital last month.
Prime Minister-Designate Mustapha Adib on Saturday said his resignation came after the collapse of a consensus among Lebanon’s political elite over the government reforms that had emerged during a visit to Lebanon last month from French President Emmanuel Macron. Instead, Lebanon’s politicians split over which party would control which key ministry.
“I…express my sincerest apologies to the Lebanese people,” said Mr. Adib, who was named to form a government less than a month ago.
In Lebanon’s complicated political system, senior government posts are shared between the country’s religious groups: the president is Christian, the speaker of parliament Shiite and the prime minister Sunni.
For almost a decade, Lebanon’s political elite have maintained a consensus as to which party controls which key ministry. But now, international pressure to reel in public spending and combat corruption has put pressure on Lebanon’s ruling class to agree on a government that suits both them and their Western donors.

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