Lebanese Politician Abandons Candidacy

BEIRUT (AP) – A prominent Lebanese politician announced that he no longer wants to be considered a possible prime minister, aggravating the political crisis affecting the country.

Samir Khatib said the Sunni council warned him that the community supports Saad Hariri's intention to return to office, which he had resigned from.

According to the agreement of division of powers in Lebanon, the prime minister must be someone Sunni while the president must be someone Maronite Christian, and the president of parliament must be Shiite.

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Khatib's announcement came hours before he was to be named an official candidate, after consultations between the president and various parliamentary blocs.

Hariri resigned on October 29 amid massive protests against the corruption of the ruling elite and the mismanagement of the economy. Succession in power has been stalled, in the midst of an economic crisis, lack of liquidity and lack of hard currency.

When he resigned, Hariri announced that he had reached a stalemate in negotiations with his rivals over the formation of a national emergency government.

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