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Lebanon's Saad Hariri renominated as prime minister

He backed away from the nomination last week, saying rival politicians were thwarting his attempt to form a unity government. But he agrees to give it another try.

September 17, 2009|Reuters

BEIRUT — Lebanon's president designated Saad Hariri prime minister on Wednesday, asking the Saudi- and U.S.-backed politician to take on the tough job of forming a new government for a second time.

Hariri was first designated prime minister in June but stepped down last week, blaming rival politicians, including the Iran- and Syria-backed Hezbollah, for thwarting his attempts to forge a government including all of Lebanon's main parties.

His move triggered consultations this week between President Michel Suleiman and lawmakers that resulted in Hariri, son of assassinated statesman Rafik Hariri, being nominated again.

Speaking after meeting with Suleiman, Hariri said he would begin wide consultations on the Cabinet next week. "During them, I will be open to all ideas," he said, adding that he would aim to form an "inclusive and effective" government.

The president was obliged to pick the candidate with the greatest support among parliament's 128 members.

Hariri, Lebanon's most influential Sunni politician, secured the support of 73 lawmakers, most of them members of the coalition he led to victory over Hezbollah and its allies in a June election.

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