Hariri secures parliamentary support to be Lebanon's next PM
Oct 25 2020
"Hariri's return as PM is a serious slap in the face to all victims of August 4", Fatima Al-Mahmoud, a freelance journalist, wrote on Twitter in reference to the explosion that killed nearly 200 people.
"To the Lebanese in despair, I say: I am determined to deliver on my promise to end the collapse in our economy, society and security, to rebuild what the blast at the port destroyed and to form a government quickly", Mr Hariri said after accepting the job. A former ally, the Free Patriotic Movement, Aoun's party and the largest largest Christian party, withheld support to Hariri. Both left Baabda Palace without endorsing a candidate.
Mr al-Hariri's last coalition government was toppled nearly exactly a year ago as protests gripped the country, furious at Lebanon's ruling elite.
In the year since Mr Hariri was in power the country's economy has continued to nosedive with the currency losing almost 80 per cent of its values, food prices doubling, and soaring unemployment and inflation.
Speaking on behalf of the Development and Liberation bloc, MP Anwar Khalil said that Hariri must form a "rescue government whose priority should be to "implement all of the reform and rescue items within the French initiative, especially countering corruption and implementing all reforms issued by Parliament".
Lebanese citizens have also been unable to access their savings after banks slapped on capital controls fearing a run on deposits.
France, Lebanon's former colonial power, has been trying to work with the country's leaders to help pull the nation back from the brink of crisis.
Georges Adwan from the Lebanese Forces Party, the second biggest Christian bloc in the parliament, which also did not nominate Hariri, spoke more cautiously: "Has this political class that took people hostage learned that they can not continue in this way?"
Hariri, long aligned with Western and Gulf states, has presented himself as the candidate to build a new cabinet that can revive French efforts.
Within weeks, the president tapped a little-known diplomat, Mustapha Adib, to serve as prime minister-designate. Most observers expect a rocky process.
President Michel Aoun designated Hariri on Thursday a year after he was toppled amid nationwide protests against widespread corruption and a flunking economy.
The Sunni Muslim leader secured the backing of his own party, Future Movement, the Shia political group Amal, and the Druze Progressive Socialist Party among others.
The Hariri supporters moved to the epicentre of the 2019 protests and set fire to a large fist erected there that has come to symbolise the uprising against the old political class.