Lebanese president to begin consultation to choose new prime minister

Parliamentary consultations to choose Lebanon’s new prime minister are scheduled to begin today, after initially being delayed from October 15.

Lebanese president

Photo: Lebanese Presidency/ Anadolu

Parliamentary consultations to choose Lebanon’s new prime minister are scheduled to begin today, after initially being delayed from October 15.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun delayed the consultations following objections from two Christian parties to the nomination of former PM Saad Hariri, who resigned in 2019 following mass protests against Lebanon’s ruling elites. Although these parties have not dropped their objections, further delays are unlikely given the urgent need to form a government to tackle the country’s economic and social crisis.

Hariri is likely to be re-elected as prime minister given that his allies hold a slim majority in Parliament and there are no other viable candidates at the moment. Business and social leaders are likely to push Hariri to quickly implement the French initiative—a program proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron in which France whips up international aid to Lebanon in exchange for substantial administrative and financial reforms tackling the corruption of Lebanon’s ruling class, such as a forensic audit of the central bank and the overhaul of the power sector.

Given a projected 25% contraction in Lebanon’s economy this year, a failure to implement these reforms will likely further the country’s multiple crises and increasing social unrest.

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