BEIRUT — The Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Mustapha Adib resigned here Saturday after facing difficulties in forming the government.
In a statement, the official Lebanese National Information Agency said that the resignation came after Adib’s meeting with Lebanese President Michel Aoun, where he explained to Aoun difficulties and obstacles he faced in forming the government.
Adib was only named to take over as prime minister less than a month ago. His decision to quit comes amid a deadlock over forming the next Cabinet.
“I excuse myself from continuing the task of forming the government,” Adib said in a televised speech after meeting Aoun at Baabda Palace. The former ambassador to Germany was only named to the top job at the end of August.
Lebanon’s last government stepped down in the wake of the Beirut port blast on Aug. 4 that killed 190 people, injured thousands more and damaged many parts of the coastal capital.
The country is also struggling with a devastating economic crisis that has seen its currency lose 80% of its value since October.
Under Lebanon’s sectarian political system, a Sunni must occupy the position of prime minister, while the presidency is given to a Maronite Christian and speaker of parliament to a Shiite Muslim.
The announcement by Adib deals a blow to French President Emmanuel Macron’s efforts to break a political stalemate in the crisis-hit country.
“We say to those who applaud the collapse of Macron’s initiative today, that you will bite your fingers in regret,” said leading Sunni Muslim politician and former prime minister Saad Al-Hariri, following the announcement.
The French-backed Abib had tried to form a Cabinet made up of independent specialists that could work on enacting reforms.
Assigning someone to the position of finance minister has proven particularly problematic, after the country’s main Shiite groups, Hezbollah and Amal, insisted on retaining hold of the key Finance Ministry. — Agencies