Hariri May be Named Lebanon’s PM but Obstacles Remain

Monday, 16 December, 2019 - 07:15
Beirut - Mohamed Choucair

Lebanon’s Saad Hariri is expected be renamed Prime Minister following Monday’s binding parliamentary consultations with President Michel Aoun.

Hariri has a tough mission of restoring international confidence in the country and to reconcile with protesters who took to the streets on Oct. 17 against the ruling class.

Some 76 deputies are expected to name Hariri while the rest of the 128-member parliament could either designate another figure or abstain from naming.

According to the observers, Hariri would be named PM on Monday thanks to the votes of 18 deputies from his Mustaqbal Movement, 17 lawmakers from the Development and Liberation bloc of Speaker Nabih Berri, nine MPs from the Democratic Gathering of Taymour Jumblatt, 15 deputies from the Lebanese Forces, four deputies from former Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s bloc, five Marada Movement MPs and three Armenian bloc deputies.

Hariri will also be named by former PM Tammam Salam, deputy Speaker MP Elie Ferzli and deputies Nohad Mashnouq, Shamel Roukoz and Michel Daher.

Informed sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that the “Lebanon Strong” parliamentary bloc headed by caretaker Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil is still undecided on the position it would take during Monday’s consultations. It would either name a Sunni figure other than Hariri or abstain from voting.

The sources said that contacts between Hariri and Aoun were not broken.

In this regard, Asharq Al-Awsat learned that Hariri met with the president on Saturday night away from the media spotlight.

Similar to Bassil’s movement, Hezbollah has still not decided on the name of the next PM.

Sources predicted that the Shiite party would abstain from naming any Sunni figure for the post to back the position of its ally, the FPM.

The sources warned on Sunday that Lebanon lies in the midst of an economic, social and financial crisis that requires all parties to move the country to another level by March.

“There is a need to facilitate the formation of a homogeneous government able to produce a coherent team that would save the country,” the sources said.

They said Hariri is determined to quickly form a new government, however, his mission hinges on the cooperation of other parties.

The sources added that some parties are currently pushing for the creation of a techno-political government.

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