Hariri Named Lebanon's New Prime Minister by Majority of 112 Votes

Al-Mustaqbal Movement leader Saad Hariri was named as Lebanon's new prime minister on Thursday, the office of President Michel Aoun announced.

“After the necessary parliamentary consultations... the president has entrusted Saad Hariri with the formation of a government,” said a statement read by the president's chief of staff Antoine Chouqair.

The binding parliamentary consultations with Aoun for the designation of a new premier kicked off on Wednesday and continued until Thursday at the presidential palace in Baabda.

The nomination comes days after Aoun was elected, with Hariri's surprise support, ending a vacuum of more than two years.

Hariri was endorsed by 112 members of the 127-seat parliament, with only the Hizbullah movement, the Syrian Social National Party and the Lebanese Baath party -- all supporters of Syria's government -- declining to back him as prime minister.

But his return was assured as part of the deal he struck to throw his support behind former general Michel Aoun, a Hizbullah ally.

Hariri returns to the post of prime minister five years after his last cabinet collapsed when his longtime rival Hizbullah and its allies pulled their ministers from a unity government that had taken months to form.

Source: Naharnet, Agence France Presse

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