Lebanon: PM-appointed Saad Hariri resigns as crisis escalates | Political News

Citing key differences with the country’s president, Lebanon’s designated prime minister, Saad Hariri, resigned.

Beirut, Lebanon – Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri resigned on Thursday after failing to form a government for the past eight months.

Hariri resigned after a brief meeting with President Michel Aoun at the Baabda Palace.

“I retired from government training,” he told reporters. “Aoun asked for some amendments, which he considered essential, and said that we will not be able to reach an understanding between us … And may God save this country.”

Hariri will talk about the government’s failed training efforts in a television interview later Thursday. His office declined to comment to Al Jazeera.

The political stalemate has persisted since Hariri’s resignation last October, despite diplomatic pressure from France, Saudi Arabia and the United States The European Union has threatened to impose sanctions on Lebanese officials.

Hariri on Wednesday proposed a 24-minister government that, according to local media, gave Aoun eight ministers, including defense and foreign affairs ministers.

Hariri was at odds with Aoun over the size and distribution of a new government. Aoun accused Hariri’s proposal of lack of Christian representation and dismissal of the power-sharing system based on the country’s sectarians, while Hariri accused Aoun of wanting too much of the government.

After resigning in October 2019 following anti-government protests across the country, Hariri was reappointed a year later, promising to implement a government that would adopt economic reforms.

Since the end of 2019, Lebanon has struggled with an economic crisis that has pushed more than half of its population into poverty and devalued its local currency by about 90 percent.

The international community has ordered Lebanese officials to resolve political differences, and to implement a government that would adopt economic reforms to unlock billions of dollars in aid and make the economy viable again.

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