Lebanese PM-designate wants reform-minded cabinet

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Lebanon's prime minister-designate said Wednesday he wants to swiftly form a government of specialists committed to enacting urgent reforms in the crisis-stricken country that can regain the trust of the Lebanese and the international community.

Mustapha Adib, a 48-year-old diplomat, spoke to reporters after holding consultations with members of parliament over the formation of a new crisis Cabinet. He was hastily approved for the job of prime minister earlier this week, ahead of a two-day marathon visit by French President Emmanuel Macron that ended Tuesday night.

Speaking at the end of two days of meetings in Beirut, Macron said Lebanese politicians had committed to a road map that begins with the formation of a government within two weeks to enact reforms. “Business as usual in Lebanon just is unacceptable,” he told reporters at a State Department news conference in Washington.

“The government should be a government of specialists that deals quickly and professionally with the challenges ahead and works on regaining the trust of Lebanese people residing here as well as in the disaspora, and the trust of the Arab and international community,” he told reporters.Activists have rejected Adib, labeling him a consensus candidate by a corrupt class desperate to hang on to power. They say he cannot possibly form a government of independent experts.

Adib, a dual Lebanese-French citizen, promised to carry out the mission as he prepared to form a new Cabinet, saying he will work on reaching a bailout deal with the International Monetary Fund.


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