After ten weeks of attempting to form a unity government, Lebanon’s prime minister-designate has announced he is stepping down.
Saad al-Hariri has been unsuccessful in forming a new administration with opposition groups including Hezbollah. Hariri today held a meeting with the Lebanese President, Michel Suleiman, saying he hopes his decision “will be for the benefit of the country”. The Syrian and Iranian-backed Hezbollah and its allies this week rejected a government line-up proposed by Hariri. The son of murdered ex prime minister Rafik al-Hariri, Saad Hariri says his rounds and rounds of consultations always ended in what he calls “obstruction”. The president is expected to call for a new round of consultations with parliamentarians to nominate a new prime minister. But observers say it is widely expected that Hariri will be selected once again by members of his majority coalition.