Not just after caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab resigned, but even after former PM Saad Hariri himself resigned back in October, there’s been wide speculation about him returning to office.
While Hariri did step down last year and handed the helm over with the beginning of this year, he has remained a subject of popular debate ever since.
Today, in wake of the vacuum left behind by the resignation of the government in August, the former PM’s name is trending again, more heavily than before.
However, in a familiar incident, Hariri issued a statement in which he announced that he does not wish to be a candidate for the position of Prime Minister.
“… I declare that I am not a candidate to head the new government, and I hope that everyone will withdraw my name from deliberation in this regard,” he stated.
Calling for the ceasing of the practice of “forming before commissioning,” Hariri affirmed that he, with the Future Bloc, will name a candidate in whom “we see the competence and ability to form a government that guarantees the success of this one and last opportunity for our country.”
He also called for the formation of a government that will be able, formally and securely, to carry out this task.
By doing so, Hariri continued, “We will cooperate with it in Parliament to achieve the reconstruction of Beirut, implement the necessary reforms,” and open the way for friendly nations “to stand by Lebanon in terms of humanity, economy, finance, and investment.”
Earlier this month, Saad Hariri attended the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, which delivered its long-awaited verdict on the assassination of his father, former PM Rafik Hariri, in 2005.