Lebanon’s PM-Designate Saad Hariri Resigns After Months of Trying to Form Government
Lebanon’s Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri resigned after attempting for some 10 months to form a government. Hariri resigned on Thursday after a meeting with President Michel Aoun, a day after he proposed a new cabinet, what became the last of many proposals.
Hariri has been proposing governments made up of technocrats able to pull the country out of its dire financial crisis. He accused Aoun of being affiliated with the terrorist organization Hizbullah, and said the president wanted to make fundamental changes to his proposals.
“It is clear we will not be able to agree with his Excellency the President. That is why I excuse myself from government formation and God help the country,” Hariri said after his brief meeting with Aoun.
According to the country’s constitution, Lebanon’s president must be a Maronite Christian and the prime minister a Sunni Muslim.
The previous government resigned in the wake of the massive Beirut port explosion nearly one year ago, that killed over 200 people and injured thousands and left much of the city in ruins. Hassan Diab remains the caretaker prime minister.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Hariri’s resignation a “disappointing development” and said that “Lebanon’s political class has squandered the last nine months.”
Protesters took to the streets in Beirut and Tripoli in the wake of Hariri’s resignation.