Anti-Assad former PM hopeful of regaining Lebanese premiership

By REUTERS
December 3, 2015 14:03

 
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Former Lebanese Prime Minister and Saad al-Hariri said on Thursday there was "great hope" for ending the country's political deadlock, after proposing a power-sharing deal that would give the presidency to a political rival.

The proposal would make Christian politician Suleiman Franjieh president and Hariri, a Sunni Muslim, prime minister.

Hariri, 45, leads the March 14 Alliance, a group of Lebanese parties opposed to Syrian influence over Lebanon, and is backed by Saudi Arabia.

Franjieh, 50, is a friend and ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. He is part of the rival March 8 Alliance that includes the powerful, Iranian-backed Shi'ite group Hezbollah, which is fighting in the Syrian war alongside the Syrian army.

Lebanon's rival camps are all represented in a unity government led by Prime Minister Tammam Salam. But political friction means the cabinet is barely able to take decisions.

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