Lebanon's Prime minister-designate Saad al-Hariri reacts at the presidential palace in Baabda, Lebanon May 24, 2018. REUTERS/Dalati Nohra/Handout via REUTERS
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Armed with an overwhelming parliamentary support, Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri is set to begin daylong consultations Monday with blocs and independent lawmakers on the shape of the new government.Hariri, who won the support of 111 out of the newly elected 128 members of Parliament during President Michel Aoun's binding consultations with parliamentary blocs last week, has pledged to quickly form a "national entente government".Hariri's reappointment to the premiership for the third time came a day after the new legislature re-elected Berri as Parliament speaker for a sixth consecutive four-year term, unchallenged. Ahead of Monday's consultations, Hariri sounded upbeat about the Cabinet formation, saying there were no major hurdles in the way of forming a new government.However, despite calls by Aoun, Berri and Hariri for a swift formation of a new Cabinet, many politicians fear the government formation could be delayed for months by horse-trading and haggling over the so-called "sovereign" ministerial portfolios of Defense, Finance, Interior and Foreign Affairs.In 2009, it took Hariri 135 days to form a Cabinet while it took him just 45 days in 2016 .
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