UPDATE – Lebanon’s Aoun accepts gov’t resignation before leaving office

UPDATE – Lebanon’s Aoun accepts gov’t resignation before leaving office

President Michel Aoun’s 6-year term set to expire on Oct. 31


By Stephanie Radi

BEIRUT, Lebanon (AA) - Lebanese President Michel Aoun on Sunday signed a decree accepting the resignation of the country’s caretaker government, a day before his mandate expires without a designated successor.

"This morning, I sent a letter to the House of Representatives in accordance with my constitutional powers and signed the government's resignation decree," Aoun said in a speech at the Baabda presidential palace in Beirut.

Aoun’s six-year term is set to expire on Oct. 31, with lawmakers failing to agree on a new president.

In Lebanon, the president is limited to a single six-year term.

According to the Lebanese constitution, the Lebanese government assumes the authority of the country's president in case of failure to elect a new president.

Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati, for his part, said his government will continue to carry out its duties based on the constitution.

"The government will continue to carry out all its constitutional duties, including conducting business in accordance with the provisions of the Lebanese Constitution [...] unless the Parliament has a different opinion," Mikati said in a letter to the Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri.

Mikati added that Aoun's letter on sacking the government "lacks any constitutional value."

Observers warn that Lebanon could slide into “constitutional chaos” as Najib Mikati's government has no power to rule since it was functioning in a caretaker capacity.

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar in Ankara

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