The dialogue round table at Baabda Palace where meetings of political leaders take place. File - Thursday, June 22, 2017. (The Daily Star/ Dalati&Nohra, HO)
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After Prime Minister Saad Hariri's shock resignation, President Michel Aoun will now initiate a series of measures to begin the process of forming a new government.At this stage, Hariri and 29 other ministers would still oversee the day-to-day running of the country.Once there's a consensus on the formation of a new Cabinet, Aoun would then accept the proposal and issue a decree accepting Hariri's resignation as prime minister and appointing the prime minister-designate and proposed ministers to their new roles. Already 48 hours after Hariri's announcement, Aoun has not issued the decree or started the process of finding a replacement and is awaiting Hariri's return to Lebanon to take action.This would give Hariri a commanding position from which to negotiate for his choice of prime minister-designate with Aoun. This is still a big if, given that no parties have yet thrown their lot in with Hariri.Aoun could try to lobby for a stripped down, so-called technocratic government of members seen as independent from political parties.Hariri formed a 30 member Cabinet last year, replacing Tammam Salam's 24-member Cabinet. Aoun could seek to find consensus for a small Cabinet of between six and 12 members.
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