Lebanon’s would-be Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri has been asked again to form a new government in Beirut, less than a week after his previous attempt ended in failure. Hariri was first designated as prime minister by President Michel Suleiman after winning June’s elections. But his efforts to forge a unity government with opposition groups including Hezbollah have been dogged by factional bickering.
On the surface, the principle disagreements centre around which cabinet posts will go to Sunni, Shi’ite, Christian and other parties. But outside influences are still very much at play. Analysts say the deadlock reflects a rift between Saudi Arabia, which backs Hariri, and Syria which supports Hezbollah.