Saad Hariri is Lebanon PM

Saad Hariri is Lebanon PM


Hariri, head of the Future Movement founded by his father Rafiq Hariri, assassinated in 2005, pledged to form a national unity government.  Ahead of his appointment Hariri had garnered the support of the majority bloc in the assembly as well as the secular Shia party led by veteran Speaker Nabih Berri, a partner in the Hizbollah-led opposition.
Hizbollah’s faction and its Christian ally did not support any candidate for the premiership but expressed willingness to co-operate with Hariri. 

The relatively swift and smooth transition from the caretaker cabinet under Fouad Sinora to a new goverment led by Hariri was made possible by a round of reconciliation meetings involving key figures of the two competing blocs. The first was between Walid Jumblatt, chief of the country’s small but influential Druze community, and Hizbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.  Until this encounter the two men had been bitter antagonists. Hariri himself then paid two essential visits. The first was to Berri to assure him of majority support for his re-election as speaker and the second to Nasrallah who was told that Hariri would not press for the Shia movement to disarm and disband its militia.

Challenges
Now that Hariri has been officially charged with the task of forming a cabinet, he will have to deal with the insistence of some in the opposition for a veto on policy, a demand he will be under pressure from his own camp to reject. Therefore, cabinet-making could take time.

Analysts say the transition has been easy because the two sides accepted the result of the hard-fought but flawed election and contrast what happened in Lebanon to destabilising opposition protests in Iran against the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. 

DH News Service

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