Lebanese prime minister Hariri resigns

Lebanon Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri has resigned after weeks of political uncertainty that has paralysed the country.

    Rafiq Hariri has been PM for much of the last 12 years

    "I have ... submitted the resignation of the government, and I

    have declared that I will not be a candidate to head the [next]

    government," a statement from his office quoted him as say

    ing.

    Hariri, who has been prime minister for much of the past 12

    years, had first announced he planned to resign at the

    beginning of last month amid a political crisis over Syria's

    influence in the country's affairs.

    He submitted his resignation to President Emile Lahud, his main

    political rival who is favoured by Lebanon's political masters in

    Damascus.

    A cabinet dissolution had been expected as a formality before Lahud begins his next presidential term in late November.

    However, Hariri had been expected to be reappointed after he ultimately sided with Lahud on amending Lebanon's constitution to extend the president's term - a Syrian-backed move that drew international condemnation.

    Hariri's decision could be political posturing to secure a stronger mandate from parliament that, should he ultimately accept the job, would better position him in his long-standing power struggle with Lahud.

    Syrian role

    The move comes amid a deadlock between Syrian President Bashar

    al-Asad's government and the United Nations, which on

    Tuesday repeated a call for Syria to pull its troops out of Lebanon - 

    a demand that Damascus swiftly rejected.



    The Lebanese parliament's extension of pro-Syrian Lahoud's term was a direct challenge to the UN Security Council, which also demands Syria withdraw its remaining 14,000 troops from Lebanon.

    Hariri's fate had been uncertain for weeks, with no clear

    indication if he would resign but form a new government, or leave

    office altogether.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    There are a number of reasons why Beijing continues to back Maduro's government despite suffering financial losses.