Lebanon’s Hariri expects new cabinet in 7-10 days — TV interview

Prime Minister-designate Saad Al-Hariri talks inside the parliament building at downtown Beirut, Lebanon May 28, 2018. (Reuters/File Photo)
Updated 05 October 2018
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Lebanon’s Hariri expects new cabinet in 7-10 days — TV interview

BEIRUT: A new Lebanese government will be formed within a week to ten days because the country's economic troubles can no longer allow for any more delay, Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri said on Thursday.
Since a parliamentary election in May, political stalemate has prevented Lebanon from forming a national unity government, raising concerns in a country with one of the world's highest rates of public debt.
"The economic situation is very difficult...(it) can't bear disputes," Hariri said in an interview on a prime-time television show, referring to political wrangling which has delayed formation of a government.
"There are solutions, which (President Michel Aoun) and I have discussed ... Within a week to ten 10 days, the government will be formed," he said.
In the five months since the May vote, Hariri has expressed optimism several times about a near breakthrough.
Key parties in Lebanon's sectarian power-sharing system have jostled over ministries, as foreign donors urged avoiding delays. Lebanese politicians have warned of economic crisis.
A Paris donors conference in April yielded pledges of billions, conditional on reforms that the new government will have to undertake.
A big sticking point in negotiations has been the competing demands of Maronite Christian Aoun and his Free Patriotic Movement on the one hand, versus their Maronite rival Samir Geagea with his Lebanese Forces party on the other.
"We all have to make sacrifices and work together," Hariri said. He dismissed comments that foreign regional pressure had hindered the process.
The IMF wants to see immediate and substantial fiscal adjustment to improve the sustainability of Lebanon's public debt, which stood at over 150 percent of gross domestic product at the end of 2017.
Lebanon's last coalition government continued as a caretaker administration after the May vote, which produced a parliament tilted in favour of the Iran-backed Shiite Hezbollah movement. 


Algeria protesters keep up pressure on regime

Updated 43 min 32 sec ago
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Algeria protesters keep up pressure on regime

  • Police forces have been deployed throughout the city
  • People were shouting slogans including "Down with the System!" or "You ate the country, you bunch of thieves"

ALGIERS: Protesters are gathering at the main post office in Algiers, on the ninth straight Friday of demonstrations against the country's leadership.
About 3,000 people had gathered at the Grande Poste, which has been a landmark during the weeks of protests, by 10 a.m. local time.
They were shouting slogans including "Down with the System!" or "You ate the country, you bunch of thieves."
Police forces have been deployed throughout the city.
Earlier this week, interim President Abdelkader Bensalah appointed a new head of the Constitutional Council after the former chief quit under pressure from protesters.
A presidential election has been set for July 4 to choose the successor to president Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who stepped down under pressure from the military's chief of staff.