Lebanon’s Adib Returns Mandate to Form Government
After close to a month of trying to establish a governing coalition, Mustapha Adib, Lebanon’s prime minister-designate, has given up. Adib, a Sunni Muslim, was given the mandate at the end of August by President Michel Aoun. The choice of Adib, Lebanon’s ambassador to Germany, had the approval of French President Emmanuel Macron, who is spearheading efforts to help Lebanon salvage its collapsing economy and rebuild after the devastating August 4 Beirut port explosion – on condition that the country undertake wide-ranging reforms to end deep-seated sectarianism and corruption. In handing back his mandate on Saturday, Adib commented that Lebanon should not abandon the French plan or squander Macron’s goodwill. “I stress that this initiative must continue,” he stated, adding that he wished the next prime minister-designate well in the “hard task” of forming a government. Macron is expected hold a news conference on Sunday to further air his views on Lebanon’s difficult situation.