1. Arrival of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri at the presidential palace
2. Wide of Lebanese President Michel Aoun (middle) meeting Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri (left) and Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri (right)
3. Mid of Aoun and Hariri
4. Mid of Berri, pull out to wide of meeting
5. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Saad Hariri, Lebanese Prime Minister-designate:
"The President Michel Aoun honoured me by designating me to form a new government according to the parliamentarian consultations that were held today. I thank the president and the members of parliament for their nomination today."
6. Camera cutaway
7. Hariri leaving
LEBANESE PRESIDENCY HANDOUT - AP CLIENTS ONLY
Beirut - 24 May 2018
8. Wide of Lebanon's Future Movement parliamentary bloc meeting Aoun
Lebanon's president formally asked caretaker premier Saad Hariri on Thursday to form a new Cabinet after the vast majority of legislators named him as their choice for the position of prime minister.
Hariri's appointment comes amid a struggling economy, rising tensions in the Middle East and a new wave of sanctions against the militant Hezbollah group raising concerns that they might hamper the new government formation.
After a day of consultations between President Michel Aoun and 128 legislators, 111 named Hariri as their choice to form a new Cabinet while the rest, including Hezbollah's bloc and some of its allies, did not give a name.
Hariri's nomination comes after this month's parliamentary elections in which Hezbollah and its allies increased their presence in the legislature.
Hezbollah, which has 13 seats in the 128-member legislature, did not name its own candidate for the premiership as it has done in the past - signaling it will likely go along with Hariri's re-appointment despite tense relations between the Iran-allied Shiite group and the Western-backed Hariri.
A UN-backed tribunal has indicted five Hezbollah members in the 2005 assassination of Hariri's father and former premier Rafik Hariri. Hezbollah denies the charges.
Hariri will most likely work on forming a national unity Cabinet, similar to the one he's been heading since 2016.
A wave of sanctions by the United States and its Arab allies has targeted Hezbollah, which made gains in this month's balloting and which says it wants to play a bigger role in Lebanon's new government. Those demands could complicate Hariri's mission in the coming weeks.
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