Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab threatened on Saturday to halt his work to pressure politicians to form a new government.
In a televised address, Diab said he was ready to halt his work if that would increase pressure for a new government to be formed, citing an incident in which shoppers fought over milk to illustrate the parlous state of the economy.
“If seclusion helps with the Cabinet formation process, then I am ready to resort to it although it goes against my convictions, as it disrupts the state [of affairs] and is detrimental to the Lebanese.”
Diab held the country’s ruling factions responsible for the current situation while warding off blame from his caretaker government.
“We are carrying out our caretaker duties in full capacity,” he said, adding that some call for granting his government full powers in light of the country’s exceptional situation while others criticize them for bypassing their role.
“Don’t the Lebanese deserve small sacrifices for the sake of the nation?” Diab said taking a jab at the current ruling class.
“What is the point of having one more or less minister if the whole country collapses?” he added.
Diab’s cabinet resigned on the back of the Aug. 4 Beirut port explosion that devastated swathes of the capital. Prime minister-designate Saad al-Hariri was nominated in October but has failed to form a new cabinet since due to political deadlock between him and President Michel Aoun.
An ongoing financial crisis, which erupted in 2019, has wiped out jobs, raised warnings of growing hunger and locked people out of their bank deposits.