August 1, 2018 / 11:53 AM / 10 months ago

Lebanon speaker says government delay has negative affect

FILE PHOTO: Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri heads a general parliament discussion in downtown Beirut, Lebanon October 18, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon’s speaker of parliament Nabih Berri said on Wednesday that “procrastination in forming the government has a negative affect on the situation in Lebanon”, al-Manar television reported.

Saad al-Hariri was designated to continue in his role as prime minister and form a government on May 24 after the country’s parliament elections on May 6.

However, progress in bringing together Lebanon’s rival parties to agree on the government formation, including the distribution of cabinet positions, has been slow.

Hariri has said it is vital to form the new government to put Lebanon’s fragile economy back onto a sounder footing.

On Tuesday, a senior World Bank official said Lebanon’s economic situation was unsustainable and the state needed to enact reforms.

Hariri said last week he was more optimistic than before that a new government would be formed.

Reporting by Angus McDowall; Editing by Alison Williams and Raissa Kasolowsky

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