Lebanon’s Hariri named new PM, wins speaker’s support
BEIRUT – ReutersLebanon’s president asked Sunni leader Saad al-Hariri to form a new government on Nov. 3, after he won the support of a majority of MPs including the influential parliament speaker who said he would cooperate with efforts to set up the new cabinet.
Hariri’s nomination is part of a political deal that resulted in the election of Christian leader Michel Aoun, a close ally of the Iran-backed group Hezbollah, as head of state on Oct. 31, ending a more than two-year-long presidential vacuum.
A big concession on the part of Hariri, the deal has underscored Hezbollah’s dominant position in Lebanon and the diminished role of Hariri’s main regional backer, Saudi Arabia, which appears more focused on confronting Iranian influence elsewhere in the region.
The quick formation of a new administration with cross-party support will help revive government in a country where political conflict has paralyzed decision-making, economic development and basic services, and raised fears for its stability.
Hariri, 46, said he aimed for the quick formation of a government of “national accord”.
Speaking at the presidency, he said “we owe it to the Lebanese to start working as soon as possible to protect our country from the flames burning around it, to reinforce its immunity in the face of terrorism.”