Skip to main content

Lebanon’s Hariri says he’s 'definitely a candidate' to lead government again

The former Lebanese prime minister resigned last year amid anti-government protests, but now says he is willing to return.
THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS - AUGUST 18: Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri gives a statement to the press outside the Lebanon Tribunal on August 18, 2020 in The Hague, Netherlands. The Special Tribunal for Lebanon delivered a guilty verdict against one of four men on trial for the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Salim Ayyash was convicted on murder and terrorism charges, however the other three men were acquitted. All four were affiliated with the Shia militant group Hezbollah

Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said he is ready to lead the country as prime minister again in the wake of the massive blast at Beirut’s port and a devastating economic crisis. 

“I am definitely a candidate” to head the next government, Hariri told Lebanese TV channel MTV, adding, “I will not close the door on the only hope left for Lebanon to stem this collapse.” 

He said, “I am ready to conduct a round of political contacts during this week if all political parties still agree on the program” that was discussed with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Macron has made further aid conditional on Lebanon’s enacting sweeping political reforms. The French president was promised by Lebanon’s leaders a new cabinet would be formed by mid-September.  

Prime Minister Hassan Diab and his Cabinet resigned under intense public pressure days after the Aug. 4 explosion at the Beirut port, which killed nearly 200 people and injured some 6,500 more.  

Within weeks, the president tapped a little-known diplomat, Mustapha Adib, to serve as prime minister-designate. Adib stepped down last month as the political blocs clashed over naming Cabinet ministers.

The small Mediterranean country has continued to struggle over forming a new government. Next week, Lebanese President Michel Aoun is due to hold consultations with parliament over naming a new prime minister. 

Under Lebanon's sectarian power-sharing system, the premier must be Sunni. Hariri, a Sunni, resigned as prime minister last October amid unprecedented nationwide anti-government protests demanding a new political system. 

This story contains reporting from AFP. 

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.


The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.


What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to and we'll onboard your team.

What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial