Saad Hariri appointed prime minister of Lebanon again, one year after resigning

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri at a press conference on October 22 in Beirut.

As head of the Lebanese government from 2016 to 2019, Saad Hariri was again appointed prime minister on Thursday (October 22), the presidency reported after binding parliamentary consultations led by head of state Michel Aoun.

Mr. Hariri was chosen by a majority of 65 MPs, according to a statement read at a press conference by a senior presidential official. Backed by MPs from his bloc and by the party of Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, he also won the backing of the Shiite Amal party, led by Nabih Berri, the speaker of parliament.

Shiite Hezbollah, on the other hand, did not nominate a candidate – the post of prime minister goes to a Sunni figure in the context of the sectarian sharing of power – but had shown its willingness to facilitate the process. “We are going to help preserve this positive climate”, the president of his parliamentary group, Mohammed Raad, told reporters.

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Over the course of the consultations, other groups or independents received by Michel Aoun gave their support to Hariri, including former Prime Minister Tammam Salam. First Christian parliamentary bloc, the elected members of the Free Patriotic Movement of Gebran Bassil, Aoun’s son-in-law, had already indicated that they would accept his appointment. In contrast, Georges Adwane’s Lebanese Forces bloc did not express support.

Financial crisis and corruption

Saad Hariri’s appointment comes almost a year to the day after he was forced to resign by massive protests calling for a radical renewal of the national political class, accused of being incompetent and corrupt. The succeeding government, led by Hassan Diab, resigned after the explosion that devastated the port of Beirut on August 4, killing over 200 people, injuring thousands and causing massive damage to the city. capital city.

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The son of the former prime minister who was assassinated in 2005, Rafic Hariri, had declared himself a candidate a fortnight ago. He will now have to come to an agreement with the political forces to form a government capable of tackling the reforms essential to hope to get the country out of the financial crisis which is hitting it and to tackle corruption and negligence. dramatically highlighted by the disaster of August.

France, at the forefront of the Lebanese dossier, has in recent weeks repeatedly called on the Lebanese political class to ” take his responsibilities “ to avoid “Chaos and paralysis”. Unlocking the billions of dollars in international aid essential to pull the country out of the economic crisis and ease the pressure on its debt depends on the Lebanese’s ability to endow themselves with a new government.

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Le Monde with AFP and Reuters

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