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Lebanese President Tabs Little-Known Diplomat for PM

Lebanon appointed a new prime minister-designate on Monday, three weeks after the resignation of former prime minister Hassan Diab in the wake of the deadly Beirut explosion. The designated man, current Ambassador to Germany Dr. Mustapha Adib, was recommended to Lebanese President Michel Aoun by a large Sunni majority in parliament, represented by a group of four former prime ministers. Other blocs in parliament, including the Free Patriotic Movement, Amal and Hizbullah parties, nominated Adib as well. Adib is tasked with forming a viable government and leading Lebanon through one of its most trying hours in the midst of an unprecedented economic collapse and still smarting from the blast that killed at least 190 and devastated much of Beirut. On Sunday, Aoun called for a total overhaul of the political system and advocated the formation of a “secular state.” According to the current governing rules and as a means of ensuring a division of powers between the different faiths, Lebanon’s president must always be a Maronite Christian, the prime minister a Sunni Muslim and the speaker of parliament a Shia Muslim.