Lebanese PM-designate promises to form cabinet quickly

Saad Hariri

Lebanon’s Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri has announced that he will form a specialists’ cabinet quickly to start with the implementation of structural reforms, aiming to save the country from its current crisis.

“This cabinet’s main duty would be to implement the reforms listed by the French initiative. I will form a cabinet quickly as this is the only and last opportunity for our country,” Xinhua news agency quoted Hariri as saying on Thursday following his appointment by President Michel Aoun as the new Prime Minister.

Hariri said he is keen to keep his promise of stopping deterioration in the country which threatens the economy and whole society.

“I am also insistent to rebuild what was destroyed by the two huge explosions in Beirut’s port,” he said.

Earlier in the day, former Prime Minister Hariri was named the country’s new premier, with 65 votes out of 128, to form a cabinet, a year after the eruption of nationwide anti-government protests that led to his resignation.

The appointment of Hariri comes after the failure of previously appointed Prime Minister Mustapha Adib to form a new cabinet, given his inability to overcome obstacles hindering his mission.

Adib was appointed on August 31 to form a new cabinet following the resignation of former Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s cabinet after the August 4 Port of Beirut blasts that have exacerbated the economic situation, driving thousands of companies out of business while leaving thousands of people unemployed.

Figures released by the World Bank showed that over 50 per cent of the Lebanese people have become “poor”.

It noted that most of the citizens were being paid with the Lebanese pound which has weakened by 80 per cent at least.

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