Published: Sun, November 17, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Lebanon's Safadi emerges as PM choice for three parties

Lebanon's Safadi emerges as PM choice for three parties

Another protester said that as a business tycoon and former minister, Safadi epitomised the political class that the protest movement wants to remove.

According to senior officials speaking on condition of anonymity and Lebanese press reports, key political players agreed that Mohammed Safadi should be tasked with forming the next government.

Safadi's reported nomination emerged after a Center House meeting between Hariri and the political aides of Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah and Speaker Nabih Berri.

Safadi, 75, wouldn't comment on his possible designation and will wait for consultations to officially name him, a person at his office said.

Lebanon's prime minister must be a Sunni Muslim, according to its sectarian power-sharing system.

MTV said the government would be a mixture of politicians and technocrats.

If confirmed, Safadi will face formidable challenges, not just from the street. It must win global financial support seen as critical to alleviating the economic crisis, while addressing the challenge posed by a nationwide protest movement that wants to see the old elite gone from power.

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From 2011 - 2014, he was finance minister in Najib Mikati's government.

Protesting over Lebanon's economic crisis, doctors and nurses on Friday raised placards that read "we are on the verge of collapse and our situation is critical" in front of hospital entrances.

"Importers can't import medical supplies due to the lack of liquidity, as hospitals are facing a financial crisis and banks continue to impose restrictions on dollar transfers overseas, even for importation". To that end, he has been holding many closed-door meetings with other parties.

Listed as a terrorist group by the United States, the heavily armed Hezbollah and groups politically aligned with it hold a majority of seats in parliament.

The candidate with the most votes from MPs will be elected as prime minister in a process that will be overseen by President Michel Aoun, a Maronite Christian.

In 2008, Mr Safadi served as minister of economy and trade in the government of prime minister Fouad Siniora and in a Hariri-led cabinet formed in 2009.

He was first elected as an MP in Tripoli in 2000 but did not stand in the last election. Safadi's wife, Violette, is a minister in Hariri's caretaker cabinet.

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