Sa'ad Hariri renamed as PM-designate

After consulting with Lebanon's lawmakers, Suleiman reappoints Hariri to try and build coalition.

September 16, 2009 16:16
1 minute read.
Sa'ad Hariri renamed as PM-designate

saad hariri 248 88 ap. (photo credit: AP [file])

Lebanon's president has given the country's parliament majority leader a second chance to form the government, after the Hizbullah-led bloc stymied Saad Hariri's previous effort. Less than a week after Hariri resigned, Lebanese President Michel Suleiman on Wednesday reappointed him as prime minister-designate, but it's unclear if the move can pull Lebanon out of a three-month deadlock. Suleiman made the appointment after two-day consultations with lawmakers showed most of them still wanted Hariri for premier. "The president summoned Saad Hariri and asked him to form the government," said a terse statement issued by Suleiman's office. A total of 73 lawmakers of the 128-member legislature voiced support for Hariri as prime minister, a drop from the 86 votes he got in June. He lost the support of parliament speaker Nabih Berri's 13-seat bloc, an ally of Hizbullah. Shortly after his reappointment, Hariri, son of slain former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, pledged to form what he called an "all-embracing, effective and united " government to confront challenges. "The Lebanese want a government that runs the country's affairs and not merely serve as a table to debate political rhetoric," Hariri told reporters after his meeting with Suleiman. Hariri said he will begin wide-scale consultations with parliamentary blocs, including Hizbullah, after the Id al-Fitr holiday, to form a government that can ensure "stability, safety and progress." The Id al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, falls either on Sunday or Monday. Last Thursday, Hariri resigned, accusing the Hizbullah-led bloc of seeking to undermine the entire election, saying it had proposed "impossible conditions" and "had no wish to advance one step forward."

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