Little-known Lebanese Diplomat to Form Next Gov’t
Mustapha Adib has been tapped to form Lebanon’s next government, receiving the support of three-quarters of the country’s lawmakers on Monday. The Lebanese ambassador to Germany for the past seven years, Adib is seen as a compromise candidate after political parties in the highly sectarian country had been unable to agree on a nominee. It is reported that intervention by French President Emmanuel Macron – due later in the day on an official visit – is what tipped the scales. Macron is leading an international effort to help Lebanon overcome a stifling foreign debt as well as damage from a massive August 4 explosion at Beirut’s port, which left at least 190 people dead and leveled large swaths of the city, requiring a cleanup estimated at $15 billion. The previous government, led by caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab, resigned in the wake of the blast, blamed on improperly stored and highly volatile ammonium nitrate. Diab became prime minister just six months ago, replacing Saad Hariri, whose own government fell due to widespread protests against government corruption and cronyism. Macron and other world leaders are demanding far-reaching governmental reforms in return for their assistance.