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Lebanon: PM-designate Saad Hariri resigns as crisis escalates

Citing ‘key differences’ with country’s president, Lebanon’s Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri steps down.

Lebanon’s Saad al-Hariri said on Thursday he has given up on the task of forming a new cabinet after a meeting with President Michel Aoun.

“It is clear we will not be able to agree with his excellency the president,” Hariri told reporters after meeting. “That is why I excuse myself from government formation.”

Hariri, a former prime minister and the country’s most influential Sunni leader, submitted a draft cabinet on Wednesday to President Michel Aoun, a Maronite Christian.

Under a sectarian power-sharing system, Lebanon’s president must be a Maronite Christian and the prime minister a Sunni Muslim. With less than a year to an anticipated parliamentary election, few figures might be willing to step forward.

Lebanon has been without a government since the last one resigned in the aftermath of the August 4 Beirut port blast that killed more than 200 people, injured thousands of others and destroyed swathes of the city.




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