Lebanon’s exit from crisis hinges on new PM, says president

Crisis-hit Lebanon’s next prime minister, the third in a year, will have to spearhead reforms and battle corruption, President Michel Aoun says.

Aoun is speaking at a televised news conference a day before his scheduled consultations with MPs to name Lebanon’s new premier.

“I hope that you will think well about the consequences the nomination (of a premier) will have on the process of forming a government,” Aoun says, addressing lawmakers.

It will affect “reform plans and international rescue initiatives,” he said.

Saad Hariri resigned as premier in October 2019 in the wake of unprecedented street protests, but he is now expected to make a comeback at the helm of the next government.

Most parliamentary blocs have pledged support for Hariri, although Aoun and his Free Patriotic Movement are against his nomination.

However, the FPM’s allies, the powerful Iran-backed Hezbollah movement and Amal, are expected to endorse Hariri.

“Will the person who will have to bear the burden of being named and forming a government commit to addressing corruption and launching a reform drive?” Aoun asks/

Lebanon has appointed two new premiers since Hariri resigned last October.