President Aoun Stresses He Must Have a Say in Government Formation

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President Aoun Stresses He Must Have a Say in Government Formation

President Michel Aoun dismissed fears over the economic situation in Lebanon, assuring that the country "is not on the brink of collapse".

"It's true that the economic and financial situation is difficult, but we're not on the brink of collapse and the state is not about to fall into bankruptcy," Al-Joumhouria newspaper quoted Aoun as saying.

"There is no reason to spread the fealing of despair among the Lebanese because the picture is not that gloomy," he added, calling on media to shed light on true facts and stop amplifying fallacies.

The president made it clear that he should be part of the government formation process, adding that the prime minister-designate ought to carry out this task in coordination with him.

"According to the Constitution, the mission of forming a government is undertaken by the prime minister-designate in coordination with the president of the Republic. This means that I have a say in this matter and that I don't just sign [the formation decree]; this is done without encroaching on anyone's prerogatives," Aoun said.

The president noted that his recent meetings with Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea and Progressive Socialist Party Walid Jumblat as part of his efforts aimed at consolidating stability and distancing himself from political bickerings, voicing optimism over the formation of a new government.

"The government will be eventually formed based on an objective criterion which consists in translating the sizes that each political party got in the parliamentary elections into ministerial shares," he said.

Aoun stressed that it is his right as a president to have a share in the government just like his predecessors, suggesting that this norm would be included in the Constitution given that the President's prerogatives have been significantly reduced.

"It is well known that the President's powers have been reduced as he gets sometimes to chair the government meetings without having the right to vote. Therefore, his ministers can partially make up for this reality," Aoun argued.