BEIRUT: Lebanon’s Economic Committees are set for a nationwide strike next week if a new government fails to materialize, Mohammad Choukeir, the head of Beirut’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry told The Daily Star Tuesday.
“The economic bodies called for a strike [Sept. 4] Wednesday in case a government is not formed before next week,” Choukeir told The Daily Star.
The strike is set to include banks, malls, shops and other private businesses, Choukeir said.
It is the first movement of the kind by representatives of Lebanon’s private sector, in a bid to pressure officials to form a new government after the resignation of caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s Cabinet in late March.
Choukeir said that the private sector has been negatively affected by the political stalemate over the formation of the future Cabinet as well as the deteriorating security situation.
“The situation is becoming more and more unbearable: a lot of private institutions have shut their doors and we desperately need a breakthrough,” he said.
The formation of a new Cabinet has been stalled since April, when Prime Minister-designate Tammam Salam was tasked with forming the new government.
Lebanon has also been struck with a series of the turbulent security incidents linked to the crisis in neighboring Syria including most recently a string of car bombs in the north and the capital that have claimed the lives of dozens and wounding of hundreds.