Lebanon on the brink of forming government, top Berri aid says

“We are on the brink of forming a government made up of experts,” Hassan Khalil said after he attended a meeting with Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister-designate Hassan Diab.
by Georgi Azar

16 January 2020 | 16:57

Source: by Annahar

  • by Georgi Azar
  • Source: Annahar
  • Last update: 16 January 2020 | 16:57

A file photo of caretaker Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil (AP)

BEIRUT: Lebanon is on the brink of forming a new Cabinet after more than four months of political turmoil, caretaker Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil said Thursday.

“We are on the brink of forming a government made up of experts,” Hassan Khalil said after he attended a meeting with Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister-designate Hassan Diab. 

Khalil confirmed that the government will include 18 "experts", yet stopped short of including the word independent, a core demand of protestors. 

Diab, nominated almost a month ago, vowed that he would form a government of independent experts but has faced pushback from the Amal Movement, Hezbollah and the Free Patriotic Movement. 

Since Monday, Lebanon has been rocked by a fresh wave of protests that turned violent as security forces have used a heightened level of force.

In response, protesters Thursday decried security forces’ use of violence during rallies over the past two days, including attacks on journalists and the detention of over 100 people.

Dozens of people, including journalists, rallied outside the Interior Ministry denouncing what they said was the systematic use of force against members of the media. Many raised photos of journalists getting beaten by riot police. Others gathered outside the American University of Beirut and a police station where dozens have been detained since Tuesday.

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