Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said today, Monday, that he will not run in the upcoming parliamentary elections and that he has decided to suspend his participation in political life, calling on his political party to do the same.
Hariri added – in a televised speech – “We will continue to serve our people, our people and our country, but our decision is to suspend any direct role or responsibility in the authority, the prosecution and politics.”
Hariri, who served as prime minister three times, asked his party (the Future Movement) not to push any candidates in the elections.
Hariri’s announcement comes at a time when Lebanon is suffering from a financial crisis described by the World Bank as one of the most severe the world has ever recorded. The sectarian elite failed to take steps to address the crisis even as most of the population fell into poverty.
Observers fear that Hariri’s announcement on Monday will become a political earthquake, exacerbating the crisis in the country.