Hariri in line to lead next Lebanese government

Lebanese President Michel Aoun has said parliamentary consultations to name the country’s next prime minister for the formation of a new government will take place on Thursday.

Aoun previously delayed the meetings for a week because “some parliamentary blocs had requested the postponement due to the emergence of issues that must be addressed.”

Saad Hariri is overwhelmingly likely to be named prime minister. Hariri previously said he was nominated “based on the French initiative, which is the last chance to save the country.” The Free Patriotic Movement was among the most prominent objectors to his appointment.

Hariri submitted his government’s resignation a year ago in response to public protests against the Lebanese leadership.

Before deciding on the date, Aoun addressed the Lebanese public, the first time a president has done so before parliamentary consultations.

He said the onus is on the new prime minister to pull the country out of its financial crisis.

In his speech, Aoun said that he would not resign and vowed to see through the formation of a new government.

“Today I am required to assign the head of the government and then take part in the formation of the next government in accordance with the provisions of the constitution.

“Many deep political changes have occurred in the region due to regional and international factors. Things may turn upside down.

“Will the person to be assigned the formation of the government commit to addressing the corruption and launching the reform workshop?” Aoun said.

Addressing MPs, he warned: “This is your responsibility. You are responsible for parliamentary oversight and accountability in the name of the people you represent. You are urged, in the name of Lebanon’s greater good, to turn to your patriotic conscience and sense of responsibility toward your people and your country.