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World

Hariri named as Lebanon's new prime minister

  • Hariri won the backing of a majority of parliamentarians and faces major challenges to navigate Lebanon's power-sharing politics and agree a cabinet, which must then address a mounting list of woes
22 Oct 2020

(Beirut) Lebanon's President Michel Aoun designated politician Saad al-Hariri as prime minister on Thursday to form a new government to tackle the worst crisis since the country's 1975-1990 civil war.

Hariri won the backing of a majority of parliamentarians in consultations with Aoun. He faces major challenges to navigate Lebanon's power-sharing politics and agree a cabinet, which must then address a mounting list of woes: a banking crisis, currency crash, rising poverty and crippling state debts.

A new government will also have to contend with a COVID-19 surge and the fallout of the huge August explosion at Beirut port that killed nearly 200 people and caused billions of dollars of damage.

Hariri's last coalition government was toppled almost exactly a year ago as protests gripped the country, furious at Lebanon's ruling elite.

Thursday's nomination follows weeks of political wrangling that has delayed a deal on a new government. Hariri was backed by his own Future lawmakers, politician Walid Jumblatt's party and other small blocs.

Hezbollah said it was not nominating anyone, but added it would seek to facilitate the process.