BEIRUT: Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri said Thursday that he will be seeking to form a “national accord” government quickly, saying one of its main tasks would be to agree on a “just” electoral law and hold parliamentary elections on time.
“I look forward to starting the consultations to form a national accord government that overcomes political divisions and is based on a consensus of all the political factions on the inaugural speech with all of its provisions,” Hariri said after being summoned by President Michel Aoun to the Baabda Presidential Palace.
Hariri said he will be open to all parliamentary blocs, including those that did not nominate him, expressing hope that the new government will be able to address the socio-economic, environmental, security and political crises in Lebanon.
"We owe it to Lebanon to start working as soon as possible to protect our country from the fires burning around it, to reinforce its immunity in the face of terrorism, to help it deal with difficulty of the refugee crisis," Hariri added.
Hariri was designated PM after Aoun ended binding consultations with all of Lebanon's parliamentary blocs, which witnessed overwhelming support for the Future Movement leader.
During the two-day talks, the former PM garnered the support of 112 MPs from the 128-member legislature, according to state media. Only 126 MPs voted, as Aoun lost his vote when he became president and Tripoli MP Robert Fadel resigned in May.
Speaker Nabih Berri wrapped up the consultations by announcing his bloc’s backing for Hariri. Support from the 13-member Development and Liberation bloc for Hariri secures Shiite backing, after Hezbollah’s 13-member Loyalty to the Resistance bloc abstained from nominating him earlier in the day.
"I am in Hariri's debt. ... I decided along with the Development and Liberation bloc, to which I belong, to pay this debt to name Hariri [as premier]," Berri told reporters after meeting with Aoun.
In a widely expected move, Hezbollah’s bloc did not name Hariri for PM, due to long-standing political differences between the two sides over the party’s arsenal and its deep involvement in the 5-1/2-year war in Syria.
Although they did not officially nominate Hariri, Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said last month that he would not be opposed to Hariri returning to the premiership.
Source: The Daily Star