- Hariri will take on a difficult responsibility in a crisis-ridden and indebted country just nine months after his resignation.
- With this decision, a very difficult task has been assigned to Hariri.
- Two other Prime Ministers resigned since Hariri stepped down.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun nominated Saad Hariri, leader of the Future Movement and former Prime Minister, as his preferred candidate for the premiership again on Thursday. The appointment was made in consultation with members of parliament and with the consent of the majority.
Hariri will take on a difficult responsibility in a crisis-ridden and indebted country just nine months after his resignation. The decision of President Aoun, after meeting with Najib Mikati and all the greetings, became the former Prime Minister and Saad Hariri himself in the media.
Najib Mikati is currently the head of the “Determination” faction in the Lebanese parliament, and Salam is a senior member of the “Future” faction.
With this decision, a very difficult task has been assigned to Hariri. The 50-year-old politician, who had been Lebanon’s prime minister since 2016, resigned in January 2020, amid public pressure and nationwide protests against corruption and inefficiency.
Hariri’s successor, Hassan Diab, resigned in August of that year, after the horrific explosion in Beirut. Mustafa Adib, the former Lebanese ambassador to Germany, was then appointed to form the cabinet, but he also failed to form a government a few weeks later due to differences and rivalries within the faction.
Adib had accepted the task of forming a new government with the mediation of French President Emmanuel Macron and the support of three previous prime ministers (Mikati, Saad Hariri and Hassan Diab), the Lebanese Hezbollah Party, the Progressive Socialist Party, and the Lebanese Christian Free Patriotic Movement.
According to Arab media, the deputy speaker of the Lebanese parliament, the “National Front” faction, the “Democratic Meeting” faction, the “Social Nationalist” faction, and the “Independent Middle” faction agreed on Hariri’s candidacy in a meeting with President Aoun.
Mohammad Raad, a member of the Hezbollah-affiliated Faith to Resistance faction, said members of the faction had decided not to nominate anyone for the post of prime minister.
The Armenian parliamentary faction and the Amal faction also supported Hariri’s candidacy. Among the independent representatives, half refused to nominate any candidate and the other half took a position in favor of Hariri.
The consensus of the deputies on Hariri’s candidacy has been reached by a relative majority. According to Arabic-language media, 65 members of the Lebanese parliament have named Hariri their candidate for the post of prime minister, and 53 have not nominated anyone.
The Lebanese parliament has 128 members, eight of which are now vacant. According to mandatory parliamentary consultations, all members must meet with the president as a faction or individually and nominate a candidate for the post of prime minister.
Based on the comments presented, the president appoints the person supported by the parliamentary majority to form the cabinet.
Then-Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Din Rafik Hariri was assassinated in a 2005 bombing in Beirut. His son, Saad Hariri, was born in Riyadh.
One of the leaders of the March 14 Coalition, he formed and became the leader of the Future Movement in 2007. Saad Hariri was the Prime Minister of Lebanon from 2009 to 2011, and from 2016 to 2019.
He is taking over the cabinet for a third term at a time when the financial crisis and general discontent are at their height and political and economic turmoil is at an all-time low.
Lebanon is going through its worst days now. The economic crisis and the widespread expansion of the coronavirus and political disputes, as well as financial and administrative corruption, rent-seeking, and the inadequacy of government officials, have plunged Lebanon into a major crisis.
Lebanon’s foreign debt is estimated at more than $80 billion, or 170 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. The Standard & Poor’s accreditation institute called Lebanon “the most indebted” country.