Lebanon’s President Hopes New Government Will Be Formed Quickly
Lebanese President Michel Aoun said on Thursday that he hoped a new government would be assembled quickly following months of nationwide protests in the tiny Arab country. The new government is expected to be made of technocrats and politicians. Sunni businessman Samir Khatib appears on course to be designated as the new premier in formal consultations on Monday. The new prime minister must be a Sunni Muslim according to Lebanon’s sectarian power-sharing system. Aoun’s remarks came during a meeting with heads of professional syndicates. He said the new government’s priorities would include “achieving the essential reforms in different sectors” and fighting corruption. Outgoing Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri resigned his post four weeks ago, overwhelmed by massive demonstrations against Lebanon’s ruling elite. Since major parties had already reached a consensus on the makeup of the new government, it is expected that the cabinet will be formed quickly. News of an agreement on a new prime minister and the forming of a new government helped the Lebanese pound to strengthen. Dollars were being offered on a parallel market at 1,980 pounds compared to 2,030 pounds on Wednesday, a dealer said. The official rate is 1,507.5 pounds.