Lebanese President Asks Ex-PM Hariri to Form New Government

Lebanon's former prime minister Saad al-Hariri, who is expected to lead the new Lebanese government, sits at the presidential palace in Baabda, near Beirut, Lebanon November 3, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir
Saad al-Hariri sits in the presidential palace in Baabda, near Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday. (Reuters/Mohamed Azakir)

Lebanon’s newly elected president, Michel Aoun, has asked former Prime Minister Saad Hariri to form a new government.

Aoun’s office made the announcement on Thursday, after two days of consultations with lawmakers over their choice of prime minister. The statement didn’t say how many lawmakers supported Hariri for the post.

Aoun, a Christian leader and former army commander, was elected by Parliament as president on Monday, ending a 29-month presidential vacuum. His election was made possible after Hariri endorsed him for president based on an understanding that Aoun would then appoint him as prime minister.

Hariri is the son of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who was assassinated in a massive seaside bombing in 2005 in Beirut.