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Lebanon makes progress towards ending government formation crisis as Hariri presents cabinet lineup Open in fullscreen

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Lebanon makes progress towards ending government formation crisis as Hariri presents cabinet lineup

Key parties have jostled over ministries since May elections. [Getty]

Date of publication: 3 September, 2018

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Key parties have jostled over ministries since May elections, with officials and foreign donors warning that a delay would aggravate the country's economic troubles.

Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Monday presented President Michel Aoun the "formula" for a new cabinet after four months of political impasse.

On 24 May, after parliamentary elections, President Michel Aoun quickly nominated Saad Hariri for his third term as prime minister and tasked him with forming a cabinet.

Key parties have jostled over ministries since the vote, with officials and foreign donors warning that a delay would aggravate the country's economic troubles.

Lebanon is no stranger to drawn-out negotiations over forming governments, but the current delays risk squandering a precious $11 billion package of economic aid.

The last government has continued as a caretaker administration since that election, which produced a parliament tilted in favour of the Iran-backed Hizballah movement.

"I delivered this formula to the president...We held discussions and we will continue them and we'll see," Hariri said on Monday after meeting Aoun at the Baabda palace.

Lebanon is governed by a complex system which aims to maintain a precarious balance of power across religious and political communities.

Its major political players have always ruled through consensus, which leaves little to chance, typically includes dizzying horse-trading, and means negotiations can easily drag out.

In 2009, Hariri needed five months to pull together his first government, and it took Tamam Salam double that time to announce his in 2014.

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