Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Lebanon: New Government to Take Shape within 48 Hours

Lebanon: New Government to Take Shape within 48 Hours

Thursday, 7 November, 2019 - 07:45
Lebanon's President Michel Aoun talks to Prime Minister Saad Hariri during the cabinet meeting in Baabda near Beirut, Lebanon December 5, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

President Michel Aoun is yet to announce the beginning of binding parliamentary consultations to appoint a new prime minister, while ministerial sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that caretaker Premier Saad Hariri stressed that wasting time would not help Lebanon’s deteriorating political and financial crises.

Other sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that the new government has started to take shape, amid extensive meetings between parliamentary blocs to determine whether the cabinet would be solely formed of technocrats or of representatives of the main political blocs along with technocrats.

The sources expected that these proposals would be developed within the next 48 hours, adding that the ongoing efforts were coordinated with a group of civil society representatives, who expressed their openness to dialogue.

One of the points to be decided is whether Hariri would head the new cabinet.

The ministerial sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that he was not very enthusiastic about returning to the premiership and that he would not offer any concessions.

If Hariri is not appointed, the sources said that he would support a “moderate figure” and would use all his international and domestic influence to salvage the country from the economic crisis.

Meanwhile, member of Hariri's al-Mustaqbal Parliamentary Bloc, MP Samir al-Jisr, said that politicians should listen to the people and work for the benefit of the country. In a television interview, Jisr said that the street protests did not topple Hariri, but the latter responded to the opinion of people and tried to find a way out.

Hariri resigned last month, declaring he had hit a “dead end” in trying to resolve a crisis unleashed by huge protests against the ruling elite.

Editor Picks