TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Lebanon has formed a new government in a bid to help rescue the country from an unprecedented economic and financial crisis, its presidency announced.
The country has been without an effective government since caretaker prime minister Saad Hariri resigned in October last year under pressure from protests against state corruption and mismanagement – root causes of the crisis.
Prime Minister Hassan Diab, a 60-year-old university, now heads a cabinet of 20 members, mostly specialists backed by political parties.
“I’ve been appointed in the face of many accusations. I wanted to work, not to argue. I have abided by the law informing me to form a government. I followed the rules and regulations to form a new team of ministers,” he said, moments after the lineup was read out at the presidential palace in the capital, Beirut, on Tuesday, Al Jazeera reported.
“This is a government that represents the aspirations of the demonstrators who have been mobilized nationwide for more than three months,” Diab said.
He pledged that his government “will strive to meet their demands for an independent judiciary, for the recovery of embezzled funds, for the fight against illegal gains”.
“In this decisive moment, I salute the revolution and the uprising that pushed us towards this and Lebanon has become victorious. We will achieve social cohesion. There will be accountability.”
He added, “This (is a) government that does not aspire to cronyism and favors. None of the members of the government will be standing for the next elections. This government is made up of non-partisan people who are not affected by political wrangling.”
Protesters blame the faltering economy on widespread corruption and abuse of privileges among politicians as the national debt hovers around $85 billion.