The Washington Post
Saad Hariri selected to form new cabinet
Lebanon’s president formally asked caretaker premier Saad Hariri on Thursday to form a new cabinet after the vast majority of legislators named him as their choice for the position of prime minister.
The appointment comes amid a struggling economy, rising tensions in the Middle East and a new wave of sanctions against the militant Hezbollah group that raised fears that it might hamper formation of a government.
After consultations between President Michel Aoun and 128 legislators, 111 named Hariri as their choice to form a new cabinet while the rest, including Hezbollah’s bloc, did not give a name. Hariri’s nomination comes after this month’s parliamentary elections, in which Hezbollah and its allies increased their presence in the legislature.
Hezbollah, which has 13 seats in the 128-member legislature, did not name a candidate, signaling that it will probably go along with Hariri’s reappointment despite tense relations between the Iranallied group and the Westernbacked Hariri.
A U.N.-backed tribunal has indicted five Hezbollah members in the 2005 assassination of Hariri’s father, former premier Rafik Hariri. Hezbollah denies the charges.