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13 Dec, 2019 20:18

Hezbollah calls for ‘broadest possible’ Lebanese govt, including Christian party, to tackle crisis

Hezbollah calls for ‘broadest possible’ Lebanese govt, including Christian party, to tackle crisis

As Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun conducts backroom negotiations aimed at naming a new prime minister, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah warned that forming a government “will not be an easy process.”

In a televised address on Friday, the Islamist leader extended a surprise hand to supporters and opponents alike, declaring that he has no wish to serve in a “one-sided government,” and calling for a government with “the broadest representation possible.”

Nasrallah insisted that Gebran Bassil’s Free Patriotic Movement – a party supported predominantly by Lebanese Christians – take part in the government, stating that the country’s current crisis requires all Lebanese to “stand together.” Bassil had previously refused to take part in a government led by Prime Minister Saad el-Hariri, currently serving in a caretaker role since his resignation in October.

Lebanon is currently engulfed by anti-government protests, brought on by rising unemployment and poverty, and perceived corruption among the country’s ruling elite. Demonstrators have called not just for a change in leadership, but for a wholesale purge of Lebanon’s top political leaders.