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Anti-government protestors in Beirut Anti-government protestors in Beirut  (AFP or licensors)

Hariri returns as Lebanon's new Prime Minister

Lebanon has named the former Prime Minister Saad Hariri as new premier, with 65 votes out of 128, to form a cabinet.

By Nathan Morley

Hariri’s appointment comes one year after the eruption of nationwide protests that led to his resignation.

He is now is expected to adopt a French initiative which aims at implementing necessary structural reforms to unlock financial support and save the country from deep crisis.

Paris expects the government to start delivering on a roadmap of reforms including fighting corruption, reforming the energy sector and dealing with the problems in the banking industry.

The government was stunned into action in August after huge explosions destroyed 8,000 buildings, leading to 300,000 people being left homeless.

Estimates of damage from the port explosion have risen to over 3billion USD. In a recent report, the World Bank stated that transport and housing were among the sectors worst affected.

Even before the blast, the country was suffering a deep economic crisis and struggling to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

To make matters worse, Lebanon has record-high unemployment levels, sluggish growth and one of the highest debt ratios anywhere in the Middle East.

Listen to the report by Nathan Morley
22 October 2020, 16:11