Lebanon’s new gov’t obtains vote of confidence

Cairo, Sep 20 (EFE).- The new Lebanese government on Monday received a vote of confidence – ending a 13-month political deadlock – for a road map focused on alleviating the country’s severe economic and social crisis.

Earlier this month, Najib Mikati announced the formation of a government after 13 months under a caretaker government due to a lack of political consensus.

Following nearly eight hours of speeches and debates, Mikati’s cabinet obtained the support of 85 of the 100 lawmakers who attended the parliamentary session.

During his speech, Mikati listed the central elements of the government’s policies, including increasing the public electricity supply and energy diversification with a focus on natural gas and renewable energy sources.

In recent months, Lebanon has been struggling with a shortage of the fuel needed to power private electric generators, to which people have resorted amid a severe shortage of electricity.

The program also prioritizes alleviating the shortage of medicine and the massive exodus of healthcare personnel amid the economic crisis that broke out in late 2019, as well as promoting domestic industrial production.

Lebanon “is in the midst of a suffocating economic, social, financial and life crisis, during which the country has reached the brink of total collapse,” Mikati said.

The international community has called for a series of structural, financial and fiscal reforms to be made by the Lebanese government in exchange for financial aid.

Some 80 percent of the Lebanese people currently live below the poverty threshold, and the country is suffering from acute shortages of all sorts of basic products.

EFE sr-njd/ta-bp

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