Hariri again tasked with forming new government for crisis-hit Lebanon

  • Hariri again tasked with forming new government for crisis-hit Lebanon

Hariri again tasked with forming new government for crisis-hit Lebanon

Beirut, Lebanon (CNN)Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who was toppled in a popular uprising almost one year ago, has been tasked with forming the crisis-plagued country's next government.

Hariri has risen back to the top of politics in Lebanon nearly a year after he resigned amid a wave of protests over corruption and inefficiency in government.

Lebanon's president has asked former Prime Minister Saad Hariri to form a new cabinet.

France is pushing for long overdue reforms needed to pull its former colony out of its worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.

"I tell the Lebanese who are suffering from hardships to the point of despair that I am determined to work to stop the collapse that is threatening our economy, our society and security", he told reporters. Paris launched what came to be known as the French initiative, created to pressure rival politicians to reach an agreement on a government empowered to introduce wide-ranging economic reforms.

Hariri, the sole candidate in Thursday's talks, was backed by a majority of parliamentarians.

Business as usual in Lebanon is unacceptable and any new government must be committed to - and capable of implementing - reforms that bring economic opportunity, good governance and an end to endemic corruption, a top U.S. diplomat said on Thursday.

But Lebanon's complex sectarian-based political system makes reaching major decisions a significant challenge.

Hariri, Lebanon's leading Sunni Muslim politician, was backed by his own Future lawmakers, Druze politician Walid Jumblatt's party and other small blocs. Its government is meant to give political representation to all the country's 18 religious groups. However, the Amal Movement and its allies, along with the Progressive Socialist Party's parliamentary bloc, and a number of independent MPs are expected to endorse Hariri's nomination as the next prime minister. The powerful Shia group Hezbollah implicitly supports Hariri's designation to the post but refrained from voting for him to avoid appearing to be breaking ranks with its ally, Aoun's party. Most observers expect a rocky process.

The Free Patriotic Movement led by Aoun, Hariri, as a result of sharp political differences between Hariri and the leader of the movement, Gebran Bassil, did not name Aoun's son-in-law.

"Will the person who will have to bear the burden of being named and forming a government commit to addressing corruption and launching a reform drive?"

The Hariri supporters moved to the epicentre of the 2019 protests and set fire to a large fist erected there that has come to symbolise the uprising against the old political class.