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Lebanon announces accord government led by Saad Hariri

The 30-minister cabinet will be headed by Saad Hariri [Getty]

Date of publication: 19 December, 2016

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The new 30-minister cabinet brings together parties from across Lebanon's divided political spectrum, with the exception of the Christian Kataeb party which has boycotted the arrangement citing its marginalisation.
A new 30-minister government has been established in Lebanon late on Sunday bringing together parties from across the country's diverse political spectrum with the exception of the Christian Kataeb, or Phalangist party, which rejected the portfolio it was offered. 

The new cabinet, which will be lead by Prime Minister Saad Hariri, head of the country’s Sunni Future Movement, was announced in a statement on state television and will see controversial Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, son-in-law of recently appointed President Michel Aoun, head of the country’s Hizballah-aligned Christian Freedom and Patriotic Movement, retain his seat.

Amal Movement leader Nabih Berri remains speaker of parliament.

Other ministers to retain their portfolios include the Future Movement affiliated Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk, and Hizballah MP Ali Hassan Khalil.

New appointments to other key ministries include the placement of two allies of President Aoun, Yacoub al-Sarraf, and Cesar Abou Khalil, as defence minister and energy and water minister respectively. 

The Kataeb party is said to have rejected to participate in the cabinet after it was offered only one portfolio, that of state minister. 

Reports from Lebanon’s LBC television station have claimed that Kataeb chief Sami Gemayel viewed the allocation of cabinet portfolios as one aimed at “excluding it from the cabinet”.

New portfolios included for the first time include an anti-corruption post, and a minister of state for women. 

The announcement of the new cabinet, made at the Baabda Presidential Palace in the hills above Beirut, comes six weeks after the election of Michel Aoun as President, following a two year presidential vacuum.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri has described the new cabinet as a “government of entente”.

Speaking in Baabda Hariri said that in the coming months the government would work towards establishing a new electoral law in preparation for parliamentary elections scheduled for June 2017, which would “include a quota for women”. 

Additional priorities, said Hariri, would include addressing infrastructural problems related to waste, electricity, and water management, and ensuring that Lebanon remained stable, “isolated” from the repercussions of Syria’s civil war which has driven over 1 million Syrians to seek refuge in Lebanon. 

A full list of the new 30-minister cabinet can be seen below:

- Ghassan Hasbani (Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister)

- Melhem Riachi (Information Minister)

- Pierre Bou Assi (Social Affairs Minister)

- Marwan Hamadeh (Education Minister)

- Ayman Shqeir (State Minister for Human Rights)

- Talal Arslan (Minister of the Displaced)

- Ali Hassan Khalil (Finance Minister)

- Michel Pharaon (State Minister for Planning Affairs)

- Ali Qansou (State Minister for Parliament Affairs)

- Mohammed Fneish (Sport and Youth Minister)

- Hussein al-Hajj Hassan (Industry Minister)

- Jean Oghassabian (State Minister for Women's Affairs)

- Nouhad al-Mashnouq (Interior Minister)

- Mohammed Kabbara (Labor Minister)

- Jamal al-Jarrah (Telecommunications Minister)

- Moein al-Merehbi (State Minister for Refugee Affairs

- Ghattas Khoury (Culture Minister)

- Yaaqoub al-Sarraf (Defense Minister)

- Salim Jreissati (Justice Minister)

- Jebran Bassil (Foreign Minister)

- Pierre Raffoul (State Minister for Presidency Affairs)

- Cesar Abi Khalil (Energy and Water Minister)

- Nicola Tueni (State Minister for Combating Corruption)

- Tareq al-Khatib (Environment Minister)

- Enaya Ezzeddine (State Minister for Administrative Development)

- Youssef Finianos (Public Works and Transport Minister)

- Raed Khoury (Economy Minister)

- Ouadis Kedenian (Tourism Minister)

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