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In Lebanon, Hariri’s Return Will Ease Markets and Enrage Protesters

MIN READOct 23, 2020 | 20:31 GMT

Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri arrives at the office of President Michel Aoun after the latter appointed him to form a government on Oct. 22, 2020, in Beirut, Lebanon.

(ANWAR AMRO/AFP via Getty Images)

Saad Hariri’s return as Lebanon’s prime minister will unlock access to French aid and likely improve the country’s economic stability, but it will also trigger a fresh round of unrest by reinforcing popular perceptions that political reform is unlikely. On Oct. 22, Lebanese President Michel Aoun named Hariri, a prominent Sunni politician, prime minister-designate and tasked him with forming a government. Most political parties approved the nomination, indicating cross-sectarian approval for the three-time prime minister. The Iran-backed militant group and Shiite political party, Hezbollah, even tacitly approved Hariri’s nomination, despite disapproving of other candidates up to this point. ...

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