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Hariri Most Likely to Be Renamed Lebanese PM

Hariri Most Likely to Be Renamed Lebanese PM

Sunday, 15 December, 2019 - 07:15
Caretaker Lebanese PM Saad Hariri. (Reuters)

Saad Hariri is expected to be named Lebanon’s new prime minister, a position he had resigned from in October following unprecedented mass anti-government protests.

He is likely to garner the backing of the majority of parliamentary blocs that are set to meet Monday for binding consultations with President Michel Aoun.

Sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Lebanese Forces appears to be leaning towards naming Hariri as premier.

The Shiite Hezbollah and Amal parties will also name Hariri given the lack of an alternative candidate, added the sources.

Presidential sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that the consultations will not be postponed as they were last week when another candidate, Samir al-Khatib withdrew his nomination a day earlier.

Aoun, meanwhile, is still adamant about forming a government of technocrats and political figures.

The protesters have been vocal in their demand for the formation of a government comprised solely of technocrats.

The sources said the president is keen on a government of technocrats and politicians because it will grant the cabinet political cover for its decisions.

The normal and expected disputes over shares in cabinet will ensue should officials agree on such a government, they predicted.

Barring any surprises, Hariri is expected to receive the votes of over 70 lawmakers during Monday’s consultations. He will enjoy the backing of the Progressive Socialist Party with nine MPs, Hezbollah with 13, Amal with 17, al-Azem party of former PM Najib Mikati with four, Lebanese Forces with 15, and Hariri’s Mustaqbal bloc with 18. Former PM Tammam Salam is set to name Hariri, revealed his sources.

The Marada Movement and independent lawmakers have yet to name a candidate. The Kataeb party had previously declared that it will name former ambassador Nawwaf Salam.

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