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Lebanon's al-Hariri defies Hezbollah in bid to remain PM

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Lebanon's al-Hariri defies Hezbollah in bid to remain PM

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Lebanon’s interim prime minister Saad al-Hariri has formally declared his intention to run for Prime Minister in a new government when talks resume next week, resisting pressure from Hezbollah and its partners to step down.
 
Saad al-Hariri said: “They put aside all the elements of the solution and didn’t even comment on it, only demanding one thing, which is the alienation of Saad al-Hariri.’‘
 
This latest move challenges calls by Shi’ite Hezbollah for Hariri to reject outright the UN Special Tribunal’s investigation into the assassination of his father, Rafik al-Hariri, in 2005.
 
But some welcomed the statement. Beirut Sunni resident Ahmad el-Hoss said: ‘‘His speech was excellent and he comforted the Lebanese people because if he is not in power, Lebanon will be burned.’‘
 
Lebanon’s power-sharing constitution calls for a Sunni Muslim prime minister, a Christian president and a Shi’ite parliamentary speaker. Whether Saad al-Hariri will garner enough support to follow in his murdered father’s footsteps as prime minister will be known on Monday.