Five months after elections in Lebanon, Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, the son of the murdered prime minister Rafik al-Hariri, has named a cabinet. The line-up was approved after a meeting with the Lebanese President.
Fifteen ministers come from Hariri’s coalition, 10 from the opposition and five were nominated by the president. Hariri said: “This government is a picture of Lebanon, which for some might resemble the picture of sectarian and political divisions. But we have to prove to the world that in the eyes of the Lebanese, this is the realistic image of national accord.” Two of the new ministers come from the Syrian and Iranian-backed Hizbollah group. Syria has denied claims it was behind Rafik al-Hariri’s murder. One young woman said: “Thank God we finally have a government. I am very happy. I hope the country becomes more stable.” But one man said: “The government is the last of my concerns.” Lebanon had been without a functioning government since June, when Saad al-Hariri led his coalition to victory against Hezbollah ands its allies. In theory the ministers nominated by the president hold the balance of power in the new cabinet.