Lebanon finally has a new government

It took 45 days. A "national unity" government with 30 ministers from different parties. The Kataeb (Phalange) declined to participate. A ministry for women's rights and one for refugees. The appeals of Patriarch Bechara Rai.

Beirut (AsiaNews) - After 45 days of consultations, the new Lebanese government was born last night.  It had been promised on November 3, following the appointment of Saad Hariri as prime minister by the president of the republic Michel Aoun.

The first government under Aoun’s leadership, who was elected last October 31 - after a power vaccum of two and a half years- includes 30 ministers, six ministers of state, divided equally between Christians and Muslims.

At the press conference held immediately after the announcement of the formation, Hariri stressed that the new government can be defined as one of "national unity" because it brings together representatives of the many political parties. He also said that the task of his cabinet will be to deal with the acute national emergencies (electricity, waste, water, security) and will draft a new electoral law to bring Lebanon towards  new elections.

Hariri’s government is one of compromise, yet despite this it had failed to include anyone from the Kataeb Party (Phalange), who have also refused to participate with the Prime Minister and President.

The most striking novelties are a ministry for women's rights and one for refugees, given the presence of more than one million Syrian refugees on Lebanese territory. Other new ministries include: one for the affairs of the president of the republic, human rights and the fight against corruption. Among the 30 ministers only one woman was mentioned: Inaya Ezzeddine, from the group linked to Nabi Berry, chosen as minister of administrative reform.

Among the figures who pressed to end the two and a half years of institutional vacuum, is the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rai. Yesterday morning, during Mass, he called on politicians to show "a spirit of responsibility and impartiality facilitating the mission to form a new government”.

"We hope, together with all the Lebanese who are loyal to Lebanon, that the political and parliamentary groups perceive the crucial nature of the economic and social situation which weighs on our population”.