Lebanese president reappoints prime minister

Lebanon's new president on Wednesday asked outgoing Prime Minister Fuad Saniora to form a new Cabinet despite reservations by the Hezbollah-led opposition, the AP reported.

President Michel Suleiman's appointment of Saniora had been practically ensured following a decision late Tuesday by the parliamentary majority to back him.

In his first comments following his appointment, Saniora called on Lebanese to "heal the wounds" of the past and pledged to try and form a government for all of Lebanon.

"I extend my hand to everyone, so that we can achieve for our country the prosperity we deserve," he said.

The Western-leaning parliamentary majority and the Hezbollah-led opposition agreed to form a national unity government under a deal that resolved a prolonged political crisis which pushed Lebanon to the brink of a new civil war.

The Arab League-brokered agreement gave the opposition veto power over all government decisions. However, the parliamentary majority was able to push through its candidate for prime minister over the opposition's objections.

The opposition - composed of the militant Iranian-backed Hezbollah, Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri's bloc and the group of Christian leader Michel Aoun - quickly signaled its displeasure with the majority's decision.

The opposition considers Saniora a provocative figure who has rejected power-sharing in the past and they have often accused him of serving U.S. interests in Lebanon.

Aoun said after talks with the president that Saniora was not acceptable as premier, claiming he would stand in the way of reconciliation.

Mohammed Raad, leader of Hezbollah's 14-member bloc in parliament, said Saniora failed to meet the "necessary requirements" to head a national unity government. He indicated Hezbollah wanted another candidate who would reassure the group it could hold on to its weapons.

But the opposition controls 58 seats in the 128-member legislature and cannot outvote the majority's candidate, which practically ensured that Saniora would get the post.

Suleiman reappointed Saniora after 68 of the living 127 members of parliament he polled Wednesday said they supported him for the post.

Under Lebanon's sectarian power-sharing system, the post of prime minister goes to a Sunni Muslim. The majority is headed by Sunnis while the opposition is led by Shiites.

Only one other candidate had been tipped for the job - majority leader Saad Hariri, the son of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who was assassinated in 2005.

While Hezbollah's and Berri's blocs didn't propose any candidates, Aoun nominated three other former ministers as compromise candidates to head the government, including a Sunni woman.

Hariri sought to allay opposition fears of Saniora's nomination, saying it wasn't meant to challenge anyone but was "an opportunity for the Lebanese to meet together, heal the wounds and start again."

Suleiman, formerly the army chief, was elected by parliament as a consensus president and sworn in on Sunday. His election was the first tangible step after the Arab-brokered deal to end Lebanon's 18-month political crisis.

The crisis earlier this month boiled over into street fighting, Lebanon's worst internal violence since the 1975-90 civil war. The clashes between Hezbollah's Shiite supporters and pro-government Sunni loyalists in Beirut and other areas left 81 people dead and more than 200 wounded.

After Hezbollah seized control of large parts of west Beirut in the fighting, it emerged politically strengthened and won the powers it wanted in government.

As president, Suleiman now faces the monumental task of uniting a wounded nation and reconciling its rival political factions.

The deal reached in Doha, Qatar on May 21 calls for a 30-member national unity Cabinet in which Hezbollah and its opposition allies have veto power over government decisions.

The agreement also allots the parliamentary majority 16 Cabinet seats and the opposition 11 seats, while three seats are to be distributed by the president.

Saniora has served as prime minister since July 2005, shortly after Hariri's assassination in a massive truck bombing in central Beirut. He had said he wanted to rest after three years in office. But on Tuesday, he changed his mind and said he would think before deciding, should the majority want him for the post.

Despite the new political arrangements, Lebanon remains uneasy. A Lebanese soldier was killed Tuesday during a gunfight between Hezbollah supporters and pro-government loyalists. And on Monday, nine people were wounded, two seriously, in a similar gunfight in Beirut between the two camps.

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
Kazakh oil company opens tender to buy pipes
Kazakh oil company opens tender to buy pipes
Kazakh oilfield construction company opens tender to buy welding equipment
Kazakh oilfield construction company opens tender to buy welding equipment
Uz-Kor Gas Chemical opens tender to attract services for int'l goods transport
Uz-Kor Gas Chemical opens tender to attract services for int'l goods transport
Loading Bars
Latest
Iran's East Azerbaijan province continues investments in construction projects
Iran invites investors to develop energy sector
First Vice President of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva shares photos from visit to Gubadli district with President Ilham Aliyev (PHOTO)
Iran seeks to curb inflation by aid of private sector
Kyrgyzstan plans to receive USD 80 mln from ADB for budget support
Kazakhstan’s National Bank changes base rate
Weekly review of trading at Turkmenistan's commodity exchange
Azerbaijan sees increase in turnover of payment cards
Kazakhstan’s National Bank reveals inflation rate for September 2021
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva meet with general public of Gubadli district
President Ilham Aliyev, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva inaugurate 'Gubadli' substation
Turkey notes decrease in number of used vehicles
Prices on some food items soar in Iran
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva attend opening of new complex of SBS military unit in Gubadli distict
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva attend groundbreaking ceremony for Khanlig-Gubadli road
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva visit Gubadli district
5th edition of DokuBaku International Documentary Film Festival to be held in Baku
Iran shares data on electricity generation of Esfahan TPP
Activity of certain enterprises in Iran's industrial parks resumed
Iran announces amount of loans issued to manufacturing enterprises
Turkey's value for steel export to Turkmenistan growing
Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan look to sign agreements in transport sector (Exclusive)
Iran, Germany to hold Joint Energy Committee meeting
Iran seeks to increase export of technical services to neighboring countries
Overall index of the Tehran Stock Exchange drops hard
Azerbaijan's trade turnover with US down in 9M2021
Georgia's sheep exports up
Many countries confirm efficacy of Sputnik V vaccine after a year use
Turkmen enterprise shares plans on processing sugar beet
Cargo movements in Iranian ports soar
Turkey shares data on ships received at Bartin port in 9M2021
Iran and Venezuela consider trading via gold and cryptocurrency transactions
ABB sees decrease in net working capital
ABB anticipates comparable revenue growth of 6-8% for full-year 2021
AT&T opens new Tel Aviv R&D center
First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva posts photo from Gubadli district on her Instagram page (PHOTO)
Volume of Azerbaijani gas exports to Turkey disclosed
Saudi imports from UAE jump back up in August
Kazakh oil company opens tender to buy pipes
Kazakhstan decreases cargo transport via internal waters
Kazakh oilfield construction company opens tender to buy welding equipment
Turkmenistan to introduce telematics systems into agriculture
Kazakhstan's Samruk-Kazyna places five-year debut Eurobonds
Weekly review of Azerbaijani oil market
Georgia releases data on COVID-19 cases for October 25
OPEC under strong pressure to do something in order to lower oil prices
Azerbaijan records surge in tourist inflow
US senator signs Declaration on Azerbaijan's Restoration of Independence Day (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan reveals data on exports to Turkey for 9M2021
TAP consortium reveals time of starting hydrogen supplies
PayPal says it is not pursuing acquisition of Pinterest
Volume of TAP’s gas transportation by end-2021 announced
Prices for gasoline to start 2022 at higher levels
Iranian currency rates for October 25
Azerbaijani servicemen in reserve conducting drills
Number of ships received at Turkish Botas port for 9M2021 revealed
Value of Turkey's leather goods export to Azerbaijan up in September 2021
Azerbaijan establishes radio and television broadcasting in Gubadli (PHOTO)
Zangazur corridor - new reality created by Azerbaijan in region
BHOS student: ‘The liberation of Gubadli made me a Presidential Scholar’
Turkey records surge in number of registered Azerbaijani companies for 9M2021
HSBC surprises with 74% rise in Q3 profit and $2 bln buyback
President of Azerbaijan to pay visit to Turkey
Iran discloses data on annual mining extraction in South Khorasan Province
Iran shares trade data with African countries
Iran’s PEDEC to accelerate work on oil fields
Volume of cargo loaded/unloaded in Iran’s Dayyer port grows
National Iranian South Oil Company repairs equipment, spare parts
Oil prices extend gains to multi-year highs on tight supply
Iran boosts caviar exports
Monthly sales of goods at Iran Mercantile Exchange revealed
Iran's extraction from South Pars gas field to decrease
Iran shares data on tax revenues
Iran could become gas importer – NIOC
Iran extraction data on its from South Pars gas field
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price continues to rise
Chinese President Xi calls for global cooperation on terrorism, climate change
Sudan PM Hamdok is under house arrest: Report
New private sector led growth model can help Azerbaijan diversify its economy – IFC regional manager (Exclusive)
Kazakhstan logs 1,573 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hr
IS claims responsibility for bomb attack in Uganda
Tesla pulls its new Full Self-Driving beta due to software 'issues'
Turkey reports 24,792 daily COVID-19 cases
At least 4 dead in avalanche on Ecuador's volcano
Zika virus case reported in northern India
Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister says OPEC will not change its strategy
Hurricane Rick edges closer to Mexican coast north of Acapulco
Israeli-led research reveals plant mechanism for dealing with water shortage
Chronicles of Victory: President Ilham Aliyev announces that Gubadli city is freed from occupation on October 25, 2020
Chronicles of Victory: President Ilham Aliyev gave interview to US Fox News TV channel on October 25, 2020 (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Chronicles of Victory: October 25, 2020
116 illegal migrants rescued off Libyan coast
Azerbaijani Navy officers successfully completes internship in Turkey (PHOTO)
Military training session to be held in military unit of Azerbaijani MoD
At least 25, including minors, died in illegal refinery blast in Nigeria
Iran’s RCS receives 30th batch of COVID-19 vaccine
Mandatory vaccination issue to be solved in November, NCDC Head says
Some 16.03 million voters cast their votes in the presidential elections in Uzbekistan
Tug fights container fire on cargo ship off British Columbia
Tokayev arrives in Ashgabat for state visit
All news