BEIRUT, (Reuters) – Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun designated politician Saad al-Hariri as prime minister on Thursday to form a new government to tackle the worst crisis since the country’s 1975-1990 civil war.
Hariri won the backing of a majority of parliamentarians in consultations with Aoun. He faces major challenges to navigate Lebanon’s power-sharing politics and agree a cabinet, which must then address a mounting list of woes: a banking crisis, currency crash, rising poverty and crippling state debts.
A new government will also have to contend with a COVID-19 surge and the fallout of the huge August explosion at Beirut port that killed nearly 200 people and caused billions of dollars of damage.
leader Hariri’s last coalition government was toppled almost exactly a year ago as protests gripped the country, furious at Lebanon’s ruling elite.