Lebanon Daily News Brief 05/23/22

Monday, May 23, 2022




Cabinet Approves Financial Recovery Plan
According to the financial recovery plan passed by the Cabinet last Friday, the government of Lebanon envisions, “cancelling ‘a large part’ of the central bank’s foreign currency obligations to commercial banks and dissolving non-viable banks by November, according to a financial recovery plan passed by the Cabinet on Friday.” [Reuters] The plan also includes a comprehensive audit of the Central Bank’s forex financial standing by mid-summer of 2022 and the Cabinet also approved increased Telecom tariffs valued in Lebanese Liras. [L’Orient Today

PM Mikati Government Officially Enters Caretaker Status
Concluding their last official meeting last Friday, the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Najib Mikati – following the May 15th Parliamentary Elections – has entered into ‘caretaker status.’ In a statement issued by President Michel Aoun, “In accordance with Item 1 of Article 69 of the Constitution, related to the cases during which the government will be considered resigned, specifically sub-item ‘e’, and considering that the beginning of the term of the Parliament falls on [Sunday], the president thanks the prime minister and the ministers and asks that the cabinet continue in a caretaker capacity until a new government is formed.” [L’Orient Today]

Lebanese Government Lifts Concrete Barriers Previously Limiting Access to Parliament Building
Lebanon’s security forces eased restrictions on barriers limiting access to Beirut’s Nejmeh Square, the area in which the Lebanese Parliament is located, following last week’s elections. A number of new MP’s called for the restrictions to be eased before the first session of the new parliament, which has not been scheduled yet. The barricades have been in use since major protests erupted towards the end of 2019. [Reuters]


Diwan, Malcom H. Kerr Carnegie Middle East Center
Lebanon’s New Parliament: Cause for Cautious Optimism?

Issam Kayssi
Kayssi writes, “In the fall of 2019, it seemed that the Lebanese protest movement was leaderless—by choice. Indeed, it appeared as though the movement rejected the very notion of electing anyone to lead or represent it. Today, however, this same protest movement has elected to office several parliamentarians and given them a mandate to speak on its behalf. Whether these parliamentarians will prove able to steer the Mediterranean country in the right direction and lure back emigrés such as Michele and Nour remains to be seen.”

Middle East Eye
Lebanon Elections: Who Are The Major Winners And Losers?

AJ Naddaf
Naddaf writes, “Lebanon’s first elections since the country was devastated by its worst-ever economic crisis have unseated household names in Lebanese politics, shifted majority blocs, and yielded a surprising breakthrough for independents. Middle East Eye takes a look at some of the elections’ most notable winners and losers . . . In contrast with the 2018 elections, when only one independent candidate won a seat, 13 independents secured representation for the now-defunct anti-establishment protest movement that swept the country in 2019.”

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the American Task Force on Lebanon, a non-profit, nonpartisan leadership organization of Lebanese-Americans.