Bank du Liban in Beirut. Growing deposits from the Lebanese diaspora supports the ability of Lebanon’s banks to continue financing the high and increasing government debt burden. Image Credit: Supplied

Beirut: Lebanese President Michel Aoun said on Wednesday the country no longer had the luxury of wasting time as a six-month government formation crisis drags on and economic pressures mount.

More than six months since parliamentary elections, Prime Minister-designate Sa’ad Hariri has hit a wall in his effort to form a national unity government as political factions jostle for positions in the new cabinet.

A new government must be in place before Lebanon embarks on major fiscal reform, which the International Monetary Fund said in June is urgently needed to put the country’s debt on a sustainable footing.

“Lebanon today is experiencing a government formation crisis ... Lebanon no longer has the luxury of wasting time,” Aoun said in a televised speech on the eve of the country’s 75th independence day since the French mandate ended in 1943. Lebanon marks its independence day of November 22 each year, which was declared in 1943. In 1946, France - which had received a UN “mandate” to govern Lebanon after the Second World War – ended its military presence in the country.

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Stressing that tackling the economy is a priority, Aoun called on all officials and parties in Lebanon to set aside personal interests and work responsibly for the Lebanese people.