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August 17, 2020 | English | Ziad Abu-Rish, Sami Atallah, Mounir Mahmalat, and Wassim Maktabi
Lebanon Needs an Independent Cabinet with Legislative Authority

In the wake of the August 4, 2020 explosion in Beirut, public pressure and elite-level conflict forced the cabinet of Prime Minister Hassan Diab to resign. Many factors led to its unsuccessful tenure in mitigating any of the country’s multiple and deepening crises. It lacked independence from party elites, who in turn constrained its political space to maneuver. In addition, parliament on several occasions intervened to obstruct the work of the cabinet so as to preserve the interests of political elites.
A cabinet resignation, however, is no guarantee of anything beyond “business as usual” in Lebanese politics. In the search for a new political settlement, several political parties and foreign governments now favor a “national unity government” that would include members of all major political factions. The alleged inclusiveness of this type of cabinet is supposed to ensure political consensus and thereby increase the likelihood of reforms passing through parliament.

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