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Lebanon Opposition Formally Rejects Hariri Government | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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BEIRUT (Reuters) – Lebanon’s opposition groups formally informed the president on Tuesday of their rejection of a proposed government line-up by prime minister-designate Saad al-Hariri, raising the possibility that Hariri will step aside.

The billionaire magnate handed President Michel Suleiman his proposal on Monday, a move quickly rejected by the “March 8” opposition alliance, that includes Syria- and Iran- backed Hezbollah, because it had not been agreed by them.

“We do not consider what happened to be appropriate, either with our democratic values or in how to deal with us. We were demanding from (Hariri) to present a draft that is acceptable to our demands in order to negotiate over it,” said Gibran Bassil, a Christian opposition politician, after meeting Suleiman.

The delegation also included representatives from Hezbollah and its Shi’ite ally Amal.

Political sources said Hariri might react to the opposition’s categorical refusal by stepping down. Should he do so, President Suleiman is expected to hold new consultations with parliamentarians later this week in order to designate a new prime minister.

With the U.S.- and Saudi-backed Hariri holding the majority in parliament after winning in June 7 polls, he is expected to be reappointed, renewing his mandate for the premiership.

Hariri had been unable to reach a deal with the opposition on the government since he was appointed prime minister in June.