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Middle east

Lebanese PM will seek new term despite pressure from Hezbollah to step down

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-01-20

Lebanon's embattled caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri (pictured) announced Thursday that he will seek another term despite pressure from Hezbollah, which forced the collapse of his government last week.

REUTERS - Lebanon's caretaker Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri said on Thursday he would seek to form a new government in talks next week, defying pressure from Hezbollah and its allies to step down.

"They came back to (mediators) with only one demand: it is not acceptable that Saad al Hariri return to (lead) the government," he told supporters.
 
"They have put aside all solutions and demanded Saad al Hariri be excluded ... we will go to constitutional talks on Monday with me as a candidate," he said to loud cheers.
 
Hariri's move is expected to anger Hezbollah and its allies, who brought down his government last week after he rejected their demands to repudiate a U.N.-backed tribunal investigating the 2005 killing of his father.
 
"We have said Hariri should not come back, and yes he should not come back," said Michel Aoun, a Christian leader allied to Hezbollah.
 
In Lebanon's power-sharing political system, the prime minister must be Sunni Muslim, the president Maronite Christian, and parliamentary speaker a Shi'ite.
 
President Michel Suleiman has called parliamentarians for consultations to name a new prime minister after which he will ask the candidate with most backing to form a new government.
 
It was not clear whether Hariri will get enough support on Monday.

 

Date created : 2011-01-20

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