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Lebanon President Michel Aoun designates Hassan Diab as prime minister

This picture taken on October 3, 2012, shows then-Education Minister Hassan Diab attending a conference in the Lebanese capital, Beirut.
This picture taken on October 3, 2012, shows then-Education Minister Hassan Diab attending a conference in the Lebanese capital, Beirut. AFP

Lebanon President Michel Aoun has designated Hezbollah-backed Hassan Diab, an academic and former education minister, as the country's next prime minister on Thursday, breaking a weeks-long impasse.

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Diab, who has the support of Iran-backed Hezbollah and its allies, was named after one day of formal consultations with lawmakers that require Aoun to designate the candidate with the most support among the Lebanon's 128 MPs. In fact, 69 lawmakers, including the parliamentary bloc of the Shiite Hezbollah and Amal movements, as well as lawmakers affiliated with Aoun, gave him their votes.

Diab, 60, faces the daunting task of forming a government to tackle the country's worst economic crisis since the 1975-90 civil war.

Diab arrived at Baabda Palace later Thursday to meet with Aoun who summoned him for the appointment.

It was not immediately clear whether the appointment would satisfy people in the streets who have been protesting for over two months, calling for a government made up of specialists.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS and AP)

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