Hezbollah and its ally, the Amal Movement, announced on Saturday that they were ready to return to Lebanese government meetings again after more than three months of political stalemate that exacerbated the country’s severe economic crisis. The two Shiite movements confirmed that they were announcing our agreement to attend the meetings of the Council of Ministers with the aim of approving the national budget and discussing everything related to the economic recovery and improving the living conditions of the Lebanese. A joint statement.
Created in September 2021 after 13 months of endless political fighting, the government has not met since October 12 due to tensions surrounding the investigation into the catastrophic eruption at the port of Beirut (more than 200 dead) on August 4, 2020.
Pointing to criminal negligence, the families of the victims and officials charged by NGOs want to torpedo the investigation to avoid charges. Ministers from the powerful pro-Iranian Hezbollah and Amal movement have vowed to boycott government meetings until the judge in charge of the trial, Tarek Bidar, is replaced.
The political stalemate has exacerbated the economic crisis that has plagued the country since 2019 and has been classified by the World Bank as the worst in the world since 1850, with unprecedented depreciation of its currency and population poverty.
Responding to the announcement by the two Shiite movements, Prime Minister Najib Mikdi said in a statement that “a group of ministers will be convened as soon as the draft budget is received from the finance ministry.”
Hezbollah and the Amal Movement said the decision to attend government meetings was “a response to the needs of the citizens”, citing “a decline in the Lebanese pound exchange rate, a decline in the public sector, a decline in income and purchasing power.” Against the backdrop of rising inflation, about 80% of Lebanon’s population lives below the poverty line and the local currency has lost more than 90% of its value in the black market.
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