Lebanon — Mustapha Adib Appointed New Prime Minister

  • "There is no time for talk, promises and wishes. It is a time for action," Adib said in his acceptance speech.
  • The little-known 48-year-old diplomat succeeds Hasan Diab, Lebanon's previous head of government.
  • In the political system of Lebanon, the top positions are divided among the country's dominant religious groups.

Crisis-ridden Lebanon has a new Prime minister. It is Mustapha Adib, who previously served as Lebanon’s ambassador to Germany. He was appointed to the position on Monday after he received the endorsement of most parliamentary blocs. His appointment was announced by the Lebanese presidency.

Lebanon’s newly appointed Prime Minister Mustapha Adib speaks during a news conference at the presidential palace in Baabda, east of Beirut, Lebanon, Aug. 31, 2020.

“There is no time for talk, promises and wishes. It is a time for action,” Adib said in his acceptance speech from the presidential palace, where he was tasked to form the country’s next government by President Michel Aoun.

The little-known 48-year-old diplomat succeeds Hasan Diab, Lebanon’s previous head of government, who resigned after the explosion in Beirut which claimed more than 180 lives. The devastating explosions in the Lebanese capital massively exacerbated the country’s economic and political crisis. 

Adib has served as Lebanon’s ambassador to Germany since 2013. The political scientist with a doctorate is a close confidante of the former head of government, Najib Mikati, and he served in his administration among other positions as chief of the cabinet.

Adib was proposed as head of government by the Sunnis on Sunday. In the confessional political system of Lebanon, the top positions are divided among the country’s dominant religious groups. The President is always a Maronite Christian, the Prime Minister a Sunni, and the Speaker of the Parliament a Shia.

The new head of government is facing major challenges. He is tasked with leading the country out of the worst economic crisis since the Civil War, which raged between 1975 and 1990.

According to an estimate published by the World Bank on Monday, the disaster also caused damage and economic losses of $6.7 to $8.1 billion (€5.6 to 6.8 billion). The World Bank estimates that Lebanon will need between $605 million and $760 million in immediate aid. Adib has already announced that his first official role in office would be to start talks with the International Monetary Fund. 

Lebanese President Michel Aoun named the country’s ambassador to Germany Mustapha Adib as the new prime minister after he secured the support of major political parties.

President Aoun and Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah affirmed their will for a new form of government on Sunday. Aoun, who is largely unpopular amongst many Lebanese, even questioned the denominational system of proportional representation.

Lebanon should become a “secular state,” he demanded in a televised address. Speaker Nabih Berri also called for a “denominational system change” on Monday. With his remarks, President Aoun was the first to clearly respond to the demands of the protest movement, which has been taking to the streets against the country’s political elite since last October.

The demonstrators blame the religious proportional representation system for the widespread corruption and the severe economic crisis facing the country. From the point of view of the protest movement, the devastating explosions in the port of Beirut are as a result of the corruption and incompetency of the ruling elite.

French President Emmanuel Macron had already called for far-reaching reforms during his visit at the beginning of August.

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Vincent Ferdinand

News reporting is my thing. My view of what is happening in our world is colored by my love of history and how the past influences events taking place in the present time.  I like reading politics and writing articles. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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