Formation of a new government in Lebanon headed by Hassan Diab

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Hassan Diab

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EPA

In Lebanon, he announced the formation of a new government headed by Hassan Diab, amid the worst political and economic crisis the country has been going through for decades.

The new government will face many difficulties, chief among them the way to deal with the demonstrations that erupted months ago against corruption and the ruling political elite.

After announcing the new government, Diab pledged to deal quickly with the demands of the protesters, and recover the country from the worst economic crisis it has suffered in decades.

He stressed that the government will work to meet the demands of the people, foremost of which is the independence of the judiciary, the recovery of looted funds, the fight against the illicit wealth, and unemployment, and the development of a new election law that enshrines the national cohesion produced by the arenas.

“What is important now is that we maintain stability and support the army and security forces,” Diab told a news conference after announcing his government.

He added, “I salute the revolution that pushed this path, and Lebanon triumphed,” and that his government “expresses the aspirations of the protesters over the homeland during more than three months of anger.”

Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri submitted his resignation in late October, under the pressure of the protests that came out condemning corruption and wasting public money.

Diab, 60, was charged last month with forming a new government after parliamentary debates.

Diab, who assumed the portfolio of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in the Najib Mikati government between 2011 and 2014, considered his new government as a “rescue team”.

A few days ago, dozens of wounded people fell in confrontations between protesters and security forces, after the demonstrators returned to the streets of the Lebanese capital in large numbers to protest against what they saw as indifference by the political authorities to their demands.

Image source
Getty Images

Image caption

Prime Minister Hassan Diab and President Michel Aoun

Diab’s appointment came after the Shiite Hezbollah and its allies, and President Michel Aoun, reached an agreement regarding the government.

The move comes after efforts to form a national reconciliation government failed in agreement with the leader of the Future Movement, Saad Hariri.

The new government includes 20 ministerial portfolios occupied by ministers backed by parties represented in Parliament.

Economist Ghazi Wazni took over the finance portfolio, while Nassif Hatti, the former Lebanese delegate to the Arab League, took over the foreign portfolio.

The new government, which is described as a government of technocrats, includes 6 women for the first time in the country’s history. They are Zeina Askar, Minister of Defense, Mary Negm, Minister of Justice, Lamia Doueihy, Minister of Labor, Vartine Ohanian, Minister of Youth and Sports, Ghada Shreim, Minister of Displaced, And Manal Abdel Samad, Minister of Information.

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