Lebanese president asks ex-PM Hariri to form new government
Lebanon’s newly elected president, Michel Aoun, has asked former Prime Minister Saad Hariri to form a new government.
"After the necessary parliamentary consultations... the president has entrusted Saad Hariri with the formation of a government," said a statement read by the president's chief of staff Antoine Choukeir.
Hariri was endorsed by 110 members of the 127-seat parliament, with only the Shia Hizballah movement, the Syrian Social National Party and the Lebanese Baath party -- all supporters of Syria's government -- declining to back him as prime minister.
But his return was assured as part of the deal he struck to throw his support behind former general Michel Aoun, a Hizballah ally.
Hariri returns to the post of prime minister five years after his last cabinet collapsed when his longtime rival Hizballah and its allies pulled their ministers from a unity government that had taken months to form.
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