Billionaire businessman Najib Mikati has begun trying to form a new government in Lebanon.
Following protocol, he began by visiting former prime ministers, included the outgoing Saad al-Hariri. But Hariri and his political allies will not take part in the new cabinet, according to a source quoted by Reuters on Thursday.
His government collapsed when Hezbollah and its allies resigned over his refusal to denounce the court investigating the assassination of his father, Rafik al-Hariri.
The court is expected to implicate the Shi’ite militant group in the killing.
In Israel, the US and some parts of Lebanon, Mikati is being seen as “Hezbollah’s man” – a claim he denies.
But many see his appointment as a betrayal and Hariri’s supporters have been demonstrating in the capital Beirut and the port of Tripoli – prompting the outgoing prime minister himself to call for calm.