Saad Hariri named new Lebanon PM, promises reform cabinet

Saad Hariri named new Lebanon PM, promises reform cabinet

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BEIRUT: Three-time Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri was named to the post for a fourth time Thursday and immediately promised a government of technocrats committed to a French-backed reform plan.

Hariri said that he will “form a cabinet of non-political experts to be responsible for the economic, financial and administrative reforms in the French initiative roadmap.

“I will work on forming a government quickly because time is running out and this is the only and last chance facing our country,” he added.

After most parliamentary groups supported his nomination, President Michel Aoun appointed Hariri to form a new cabinet to free the country from crisis.

Hariri, who led the three governments of Lebanon, resigned a year ago under pressure due to unprecedented protests against the political class.

“The president summoned… Saad Al-Deen Al-Hariri to task him with forming a government,” a spokesman for the presidency said.

Hariri received a majority of 65 MPs, while 53 abstained.

Lebanon is struggling to deal with its worst economic crisis in decades, but it is still suffering from a devastating port explosion that killed more than 200 people in August and destroyed most of Beirut.

Aoun warned on Wednesday that the new prime minister, the third in a year, will have to take the lead in reforms and fight corruption.

After the deadly port explosion, a relatively unknown diplomat, Mustapha Adib, was nominated in late August after the resignation of his predecessor Hassan Diab’s government.

Adib vowed to set up a cabinet of experts to meet the conditions set by French President Emmanuel Macron to help rescue this corrupt country from the worst economic crisis.

However, he faced resistance from some major political parties and put in towels nearly a month later, leaving Lebanon hopelessly facing the consequences of increasing poverty and the worst peacetime disaster.

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