Lebanon's Samir al-Khatib rescinds PM nomination

Lebanon's Samir al-Khatib rescinds PM nomination
Lebanese Sunnis want Saad al-Hariri to be prime minister of the next government, businessman Samir Khatib said on Sunday (December 8) after meeting Lebanon's top Sunni cleric, spelling the end of his own candidacy for the position.

Speaking after a meeting with Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Latif Derian, Khatib said the mufti backed Hariri and that he would head to his Beirut residence to inform him of this "because he is the one who nominated me to form the new government."

Hariri quit on Oct. 29, prompted by protests against the corruption of Lebanon's ruling elite. The protests have continued since then and Lebanon is in dire need of a new government to start tackling an economic crisis.

Hariri said last week he backed Khatib as consensus appeared to emerge among Lebanon's main parties on him being designated in formal consultations that President Michel Aoun is due to convene on Monday (December 9).

He also said he would only return as prime minister if he could lead a government of specialist ministers which he believes would be best placed to deal with the crisis and attract foreign aid.

But his demand was rejected by groups including the powerful Shi'ite party Hezbollah and its ally Aoun. Both say the government must include politicians.

Based on Reuters 

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