İrem UZUN -TDO- The nomination of Lebanon's next prime minister has been postponed after major Christian parties said they would not support the candidacy of caretaker Prime Minister Saad AL-Hariri, presenting a new impasse after weeks of political wrangling.
Under Lebanon's complex political system, where power is shared among religious groups, the prime minister must always be a Sunni, the president a Maronite Christian and the speaker of Parliament a Shia Muslim. Meanwhile, according to the modern-day interpretation of a key article in the Constitution, there must be parity in the representation of Christians and Muslims in Parliament and government. This premise of sectarian power-sharing now poses the greatest obstacle to Hariri's candidacy, as without the support of the major Christian parties in government, the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) and the Lebanese Forces.
More than seven weeks since Saad al-Hariri quit as prime minister, prompted by protests against the ruling elite, politicians have been unable to agree on a new administration despite the deepening financial crisis. New complications surfaced in efforts to agree a government that is urgently needed to pull the country out of a destabilizing economic crisis. The impasse took a violent turn at the weekend when Beirut was clouded in tear gas as security forces clashed with protesters who blame the politicians for corruption and bad governance. More than 40 people injured in clashes just 24-hours earlier.