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Lebanon's former PM Saad Hariri bows out of political career

January 24, 2022

BEIRUT – Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has announced that he will suspend his involvement in political activities and will not run in upcoming parliamentary elections.

“I’m convinced there is no room for any positive opportunities to Lebanon due to the Iranian influence, our indecisiveness with the international community, internal divisions, and sectarian divisions, I’m suspending work in political life and so is the Future Movement. And I’m not running in the elections, nor will the Future Movement,” Hariri said in a televised address on Monday.

“We are staying in service of our people and nation, but our decision is to suspend any direct role or responsibility in ruling, representation, or politics in the traditional sense,” he added.

Parliamentary elections are slated for May 15, 2022. Lebanese will head to the polls for the first time since a countrywide popular uprising in late 2019, and the Beirut Port blast in August 2020 that killed more than 200 people and flattened several neighbourhoods in the capital.

Lebanon is also reeling from a continuing economic crisis that has slipped more than three-quarters of the population into poverty in a little more than two years.

Hariri said on Monday that his goal was to prevent another Lebanese civil war amid growing tensions and to improve the wellbeing of Lebanese. He said compromises he has made with political adversaries to prevent war has weakened his ability to improve the economy.

“These agreements came at my expense, and could be the reason of my inability to make life better for the Lebanese. History will be the judge of that,” he said, citing loss of personal wealth, local and regional allies.

The Hariri family has dominated Lebanon’s Sunni political landscape for more than three decades since the end of the country’s civil war in 1990. – Agencies

January 24, 2022
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