LEBANON: Govt formed after months of deadlock

Lebanon announced the formation of a government on Thursday eight months after elections and amid heightened fears of a major economic collapse.

The Western-backed prime minister-designate Saad Hariri now faces a big challenge in delivering the reforms needed to address dire public finances and unlock billions of dollars in pledged aid and loans to boost growth.

On May 24, after parliamentary elections, President Michel Aoun quickly nominated Hariri for his third term as prime minister and tasked him with forming a cabinet, but political parties spent eight months arguing over the new government’s makeup.

“We are facing economic, financial, social and administrative challenges,” Hariri said at a press conference after the announcement.

“It has been a difficult political period, especially after the elections, and we must turn the page and start working,” he said.

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