Hariri Officially Tasked with Forming a New Governmentإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Saad Hariri was officially tasked Thursday with forming a new government after he garnered 111 votes in the binding parliamentary consultations, the Presidency said.
The consultations were held at the Baabda Palace from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm.
Hariri was first to arrive at the Presidential Palace where he met President Michel Aoun as part of the consultations.
Hariri was supported by the largest blocs in parliament and will most likely work on forming a national unity Cabinet, similar to the one he's been heading since 2016.
Tripoli MP ex-PM Najib Miqati, who leads a four-member parliamentary bloc, met with Aoun and told reporters afterwards that he nominates Hariri for the premiership.
“In light of the national imperatives and challenges, I named Hariri for the premiership,” he said.
The consultations on a premier came a day after parliament elected Nabih Berri as its speaker. He has been holding the post since 1992.
Former Prime Minister and Beirut MP Tammam Salam also named Hariri. He said: “A new phase is ahead of us. I pray it will be a promising one led by a promising man who is Saad Hariri.”
Deputy Speaker Elie Ferzli, whose election to the current post a day earlier was not met with the approval of (Hariri's) al-Mustaqbal Movement, said after meeting Aoun: “We have affirmed the nomination of Hariri for the premiership.”
After consultations with Aoun, al-Mustaqbal bloc led by MP Bahia Hariri (Saad Hariri's aunt) said the bloc has nominated the caretaker PM to lead the new premiership.
The Strong Lebanon coalition which comprises the Free Patriotic Movement's MPs, the Armenian MPs bloc, the Mount Lebanon Guarantee bloc (Talal Arslan, Cesar Abi Khalil, Mario Aoun and Farid al-Bustani), and Independence Movement leader MP Michel Mouawad named Hariri.
MP Jebran Bassil, the head of the bloc, told reporters: “We have nominated Hariri. This position is normal and consistent with the outcome of the elections.”
On the other hand, Hizbullah’s Loyalty to the Resistance bloc unsurprisingly did not name Hariri for the post. They said they "nominated no one."
MP Faisal Karami, spoke on behalf of the National Coalition bloc (Farid al-Khazen, Tony Franjieh, Estephan Douaihi, Fayez Ghosn, Mustafa al-Husseini, Jihad al-Samad and Karami) after meeting Aoun.
He said: “As a national coalition we have named Hariri for premiership except for Jihad al-Samad.”
Shyly stuttering newly elected MP Taymour Jumblat, who heads the Democratic Gathering bloc succeeding his father Walid Jumblat, announced that the bloc has nominated Hariri.
“We deposited the name of our candidate to the government at President Aoun,” said the Social National bloc (SSNP) without disclosing their nomination.
The Strong Republic bloc of the Lebanese Forces meanwhile named Hariri for the premiership.
After a 15-minute bilateral meeting with the president, LF leader Samir Geagea said: “I hope the new government will be new par excellence and the country needs a major rescue operation.”
Surprisingly, the opposition Kataeb Party bloc also nominated Hariri, with its leader MP Sami Gemayel saying that he wants to give Hariri and the country “a chance.”
“Our opposition is against a performance, not certain individuals,” Gemayel told reporters.
Hariri was also named by the MPs Fouad Makhzoumi, Edie Demerjian, Michel Murr, Talal Arslan and Adnan Traboulsi as MPs Osama Saad, Jamil al-Sayyed and Paula Yacoubian said they did not nominate anyone.
“I have not nominated PM Hariri because I'm opposed to his policies,” Saad said.
“I have not nominated anyone for the premiership and I explained to the president that we will practice constructive opposition,” Yacoubian for her part said, noting that this is the stance of the Kollouna Watani civil society coalition.
Berri's Development and Liberation bloc also named Hariri for the premiership.
Hariri's al-Mustaqbal Movement lost a third of its seats on May 6, when Lebanon held its first legislative election in nine years and voters reinforced the weight of Hizbullah and its allies.
Hariri has been prime minister since December 2016 and served his first term from 2009 to 2011.