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Lebanon President Aoun designates ambassador Adib as PM

Filed on August 31, 2020
aoun, adib, lebanon, beirut


The previous government quit on August 10 in the wake of the catastrophic explosion at Beirut port.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun designated ambassador Mustapha Adib on Monday to form a new government after he secured the support of a majority of MPs.

The previous government quit on August 10 in the wake of the catastrophic explosion at Beirut port.

On Sunday, Lebanon's Sunni Muslim political heavyweights threw their support behind Adib, to be the next premier of their crisis-hit country.

Aoun had called on Sunday for the proclamation of a "secular state" during a televised address to mark the upcoming centenary of the Lebanese state.

"I call for the proclamation of Lebanon as a secular state," Aoun said during a speech in which he acknowledged the need "to change the system", after an enormous explosion at Beirut's port in early August and months of deepening economic crisis.

Earlier, a group of former prime ministers, including top Sunni political figure Saad Hariri, had announced they decided on Adib after reviewing several names.

"Those meetings agreed to name ambassador Mustapha Adib to be prime minister," said former premier Fouad Siniora in a statement, stressing the need for speedy government formation.

Lebanon's last government, headed by Hassan Diab, resigned after a massive explosion of ammonium nitrate at the capital's port on August 4 that killed at least 188 people, wounded thousands, and laid waste to large parts of central Beirut.

That disaster came off the heels of the country's worst economic crisis in decades as well as a coronavirus outbreak and widespread popular discontent with the political class.

Those who took part in mass protests from October 17 against politicians they deem corrupt and inept have already rejected any name that might emerge from the parliamentary consultations.

"We reject the outcome of parliamentary consultations, which is already known in advance and will, as usual, lead to a so-called government of national unity, one that is cooked up abroad," said Naji Abou Khalil, a member of the National Bloc opposition party.


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