Lebanon Seeks to Fill Power Vacuum Amid Worst Crisis in Decades

Beirut-Lebanese leaders to shift their focus on Tuesday to form a new government, a day after the country’s Cabinet resigned amid ongoing protests demanding political reform after last week’s deadly explosion in Beirut.

President Michel Aoun has demanded from Prime Minister Hassan Diab and his Cabinet remain in office as a caretaker government with limited powers until a new administration can be formed. There is no clear agreement on who should be the next Prime Minister, Mr. Aoun left with little choice but to keep Mr. Diab’s government of the place, analysts said.

“We are in a free fall into the abyss, frankly,”said Maha Yahya, Director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut. “If we don’t get the government very soon they began to offer some form of roadmap for getting rid of this abyss, the only way is down.”

Any new government will have to deal with Lebanon’s most serious economic crisis in decades, with the insolvency of the banking system, rising unemployment and severe shortages of foreign exchange.

It will also have by convening with angry protesters demanding the downfall of the country’s entire political elite they hold responsible for years of corruption and tyranny. In addition, Lebanon is under pressure from donor countries have demanded economic and political reforms before the bailout.

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