BEIRUT - Lebanon's president has warned that the crisis-hit country could be going to “hell” if a new government is not formed.

In a televised address Monday, President Michel Aoun criticized his allies, the Shiite groups Hezbollah and Amal, for insisting on keeping the Finance Ministry portfolio in any new government.

That has undermined a French initiative for a Lebanese government of independent specialists.

It was supposed to be formed by Sept. 15. to enact reforms amid a devastating economic and financial crisis.

Asked by a reporter where Lebanon is headed if no government is formed soon, Aoun replied: “To hell, of course.

Why else would I be standing here speaking if this wasn't the case?”