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Lebanon’s Berri says some parties don’t want government formed: newspaper

FILE PHOTO: Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri gestures at the presidential palace in Baabda, near Beirut, Lebanon November 3, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir/File Photo

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said there are parties in Lebanon that do not want a new government to be formed, al-Akhbar newspaper reported on Monday, pointing to the depth of complications that have derailed its formation.

A deal on a new national unity government led by Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri looked close last week when a mediation effort made headway toward resolving the last big problem, which surrounded Sunni Muslim representation.

But new complications surfaced on Saturday.

Berri told al-Akhbar: “What happened confirms there are parties that do not want the government to be born at all.”

More than seven months since its last general election, Lebanon, heavily indebted and suffering from low economic growth, is in dire need of an administration to enact long-stalled reforms and put public debt on a sustainable footing.

Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Alison Williams

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