Lebanese pres. assigns academic Hassan Diab to form new gov’t

BEIRUT, Lebanese President Michel Aoun on Thursday assigned University professor and former education minister Hassan Diab to form the new government.

“I will work hard to form a government as soon as possible to live up to the aspriations of Lebanese people,” Prime Minister-designate Diab said following his meeting with President Aoun.

Diab, 60, stated that he was independent and vowed to consult with all political parties, movements as well as representatives of protesters to form an inclusive government with a wide public support.

“The current phase is critical and it requires efforts and national unity to immunize the country and push the rescue process forward,” he argued.

He expressed hopes the new government would lead the country to stability.

Following the announcement, hundreds of protesters took to streets in Beirut and several cities to protest against naming Diab as the next premier.

Diab, who describes himself as technocrat, is an engineering professor at the American University of Beirut (AUB). He had held the education portfolio in the 2011 cabinet.

He will replace outgoing premier Saad Hariri amid nationwide anti-government protests and the worst economic crisis since Lebanon’s 1975-1990 civil war.

Source: Kuwait News Agency