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Forming a New Government in Lebanon: What's the Snag?

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Lebanon is facing its worst economic crisis since its civil war, an unprecedented protest movement and mounting international pressure for reform, yet under-fire politicians have yet to form a government.

This raises questions about what is holding up the creation of a new cabinet and what comes next for a crumbling country that can ill-afford delays.

- What's the holdup? -

Lebanon has been waiting for a new government since former prime minister Saad Hariri resigned on October 29, two weeks into a protest movement demanding the removal of a political class deemed incompetent and corrupt.

After weeks of political wrangling over who would head the next government, political parties on December 19 designated Hassan Diab, an engineering professor and self-professed technocrat.

But Diab, who had pledged to form a government within six weeks of his nomination, has hit repeated snags.

Quotas apportioning positions between the key Christian, Sunni and Shiite communities have been key to forming governments since the end of the 1975 to 1990 civil war.

The process always involves an arduous "slicing (of) the........

© Naharnet (EN)