Beirut- Saad Hariri, the newly nominated prime minister, vowed Thursday to work hard on forming a national accord government capable of facing the country’s divisions which have paralyzed Lebanon for several years.
Following two days of binding parliamentary consultations, President Michel Aoun named Hariri to form the new cabinet.
Hariri was even supported by Speaker Nabih Berri and his parliamentary bloc, which gave a positive push to his new mission.
On Thursday, Lebanon’s Presidency issued a statement tasking Hariri to form the new government after he was nominated by 112 MPs out of the 127-member Parliament.
The so-called Hezbollah parliamentary bloc was the most prominent party not to name Hariri.
After meeting with President Aoun in Baabda, Hariri said: “I accepted the task,” thanking the confidence of Aoun and the deputies who have honored him with this national assignment.
“I will be open to all parliamentary blocs, including those who did not name me, in accordance with our Constitution and our democratic values,” Hariri said.
He added: “I look forward to starting the consultations to form a national unity government that overcomes political divisions, based on the consensus of all political forces on the inaugural speech with all its provisions.”
Hariri also vowed to work on an electoral law that secures just representation and oversees the completion of the parliamentary elections on schedule.
Head of the Amal Movement, Speaker Nabih Berri facilitated the nomination of Hariri, after he had opposed a deal that brought Aoun to the presidential seat, threatening the chances of forming the next cabinet.
After meeting with Aoun at the Presidential Palace, Berri said: “It is time that we return the debt we owe Hariri. We name Hariri for the post of premiership.”
The Speaker added: “We will cooperate if they ask us to. And we will be in the opposition if they want us to.”
However, Berri’s decision to nominate Hariri does not remove the obstacles placed in front of the newly tasked premier while forming his new cabinet. These obstacles are rather linked to the size and the form of the government in addition to the ministerial portfolios divided among the different parliamentary blocs.
It is certain that Berri and his allies would have a share in the next cabinet.
Sources close to Berri told Asharq Al-Awsat that the speaker is keen on dealing positively and openly with the latest developments.
“Berri is waiting to see what the others would suggest to his bloc and his alliances, which have widened following the presidential election session from 44 MPs to 57 MPs.”