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Lebanon: Hariri may run for PM, if parliamentary blocs cooperate

Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri speaks to the press after leaving the Lebanon Tribunal after the ruling on the assassination of ex-Prime Minister Rafik Al Hariri of Lebanon in Leidschendam, The Netherlands on 18 August 2020. [Saad al-Hariri Press Office/Handout - Anadolu Agency]
Prime Minister-Designate Saad al-Hariri on 18 August 2020 [Saad al-Hariri Press Office/Handout - Anadolu Agency]

The final decision of former Lebanese Prime Minister, Saad Hariri, to run for the post once again depends on the parliamentary blocs' willingness to cooperate with him, a senior source in the Future Bloc said.

"Hariri's final decision to run for the post depends on the willingness of the parliamentary blocs he would consult with to provide political and economic guarantees without which the French initiative to stem Lebanon's economic collapse would falter," the source told the Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

The paper reported that Hariri will begin his consultations with former premiers Najib Mikati, Fouad Siniora and Tamam Salam on the post-candidacy phase.

Hariri will also consult with representatives of the Future bloc and then start consultations early next week with the parliamentary blocs.

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President Michel Aoun had set Thursday as the date for parliamentary consultations to appoint a new person to form the next government.

Last Thursday, Hariri announced that he was a possible candidate to head the new government.

Speaking to local MTV, Hariri said: "I am definitely a candidate … Hariri will not close the door to the only hope that exists before Lebanon."

"I am ready to carry out a round of political contacts during this week if all the political parties still agree on the program," he added.

Hariri resigned from the post in October last year in response to widespread protests calling for reforms.

Hariri became prime minister in December 2016, he previously held the position from November 2009 to June 2011. His father, Rafic Hariri, previously held the seat from 1992 to 1998 and again from 2000 until his resignation on 20 October 2004. He was assassinated in Beirut in 2005.

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