In the wake of the long-awaited government formation announcement, Prime Minister Saad Hariri apologized to the Lebanese people for the delay in the process, pledging to take on the challenge of making much-needed economic and financial reforms.
“Cooperation between ministers is a condition for the success of the new government,” he told reporters.
Hariri spoke in his capacity as premier after Cabinet Secretary-General Fouad Fleifel announced the allocation of ministries, more than eight months after Hariri was tasked with forming a government.
He also announced that the Cabinet will hold its first meeting Saturday to appoint a ministerial committee charged with drafting the Cabinet policy statement.
“The Cabinet has a schedule that cannot be delayed. … No one can bury their heads in the sand anymore. …. The reasons for corruption and administrative malfunction are known and all Lebanese are concerned about the economic situation,” Hariri said.
The premier thanked President Michel Aoun and other political players for their efforts.
Well-wishers headed to Hariri’s Downtown residence to express their support for the premier, who headed the government in 2009-11 and then again in 2016.
“This government will not be a government of just talk, but a government of work,” Hariri told his supporters. “There were some hurdles that [obstructed] the formation, but as of today and after the formation, we will put this behind us.”
Hariri said he will focus now on lifting the country up and turning a new page.
He then visited the grave of his father, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, accompanied by the new Interior Minister Raya al-Hasan. Speaking to MTV from Hariri’s residence, Hasan thanked the premier for supporting her during her previous tenure as finance minister and as she takes on her new position.
The Daily Star