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Lebanon President Aoun says government to be formed 'soon'

Michel Aoun made the remarks to reporters who asked about the country's political crisis [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 18 October, 2018

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Lebanese President Michel Aoun has indicated that more than five months of political wrangling may soon come to an end with the formation of a new government.

Lebanon's President Michel Aoun said on Thursday a government would be formed "very soon," according to Reuters news agency.

The president's remarks follow over five months of wrangling since the country's parliamentary elections, with premier-designate Saad Hariri has been unable to form a new government.

"Yes, the government will be very soon or sooner," Aoun said in response to questions from reporters about whether a new government will be formed.

With no government in place, Lebanon risks losing a precious $11-billion aid package aimed at helping the country's ailing infrastructure.

Economic growth has also plummeted in the wake of a series of political crises, compounded by the war since 2011 in neighbouring Syria.

A new government would be able to sign off the funds at a conference in April.

But political parties in the small multi-confessional country have been locked in dispute over the makeup of a future cabinet.

The tiny country, which weathered its own civil war from 1975 to 1990, has a multi-confessional system of government that seeks to represent all religious sects.

Last year, Saudi-backed Prime Minister Saad Hariri was allegedly held against his will during a visit to Riyadh, with observers speculating that it was due to him ceding too much influence to Lebanese Shia movement Hizballah.

Successive governments in Lebanon have been unable to address a waste management crisis, or improve an electricity grid that causes daily power cuts.

In recent days, Lebanese have complained of wastewater arriving in their taps at home, with activists sharing images on social media of vegetables soaking in murky water.

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