Lebanon announces forming of new cabinet

December 20, 2016 - 3:17

Lebanon has announced forming a new 30-minister cabinet led by Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri.

The new government was announced on state television and brings together the country’s whole political spectrum except for the Christian Phalangist party, which did not accept the portfolio it was offered.
"Today a new government was formed…This is a government of entente," said Hariri of the new cabinet, formed six weeks after the election of President Michel Aoun.
The new lineup keeps Gebran Bassil as the foreign minister, Ali Hassan Khalil as the finance minister, and Nouhad Machnouk as the interior minister, and includes Yacoub al-Sarraf as the new defense minister and Cesar Abou Khalil as the new minister for energy and water. Moreover, new posts such as anti-corruption minister and minister of state for women's affairs have been added to the government.  
On October 31, Lebanese legislators elected Aoun as president, ending a 29-month presidential vacuum. The Maronite Christian founder of the Free Patriotic Movement succeeded Michel Sleiman.
Aoun garnered 83 votes in the 128-seat assembly as parliamentarians convened for their 46th attempt to choose a head of state.
At his swearing-in in the parliament building, Aoun said Lebanon must be protected from “regional fires,” a reference to the foreign-sponsored militancy in neighboring Syria on top of crises in Iraq and Yemen.
(Source: Daily Star)

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