Saad Hariri is a Lebanese politician and businessman who also holds Saudi citizenship. He entered politics following the assassination of his father on 14 February 2005.
Considered close to Saudi Arabia and the main leader of the March 14 coalition, he was appointed President of the Lebanese Council of Ministers from 16 September 2009 to 12 January 2011 succeeding Fouad Saniora under President Michel Sleiman and again since 18 December 2016 under the mandate of President Michel Aoun.
During his first term, accused of being too close to Saudi Arabia, 11 ministers (from the Amal-CPL-Hezbollah coalition and a minister close to the President of the Republic Michel Sleiman) or more than a third of the government will resign. This government will be considered to have resigned on 12 January 2011.
A second mandate under the aegis of a rapprochement with Michel Aoun
After the conclusion of an agreement that allowed the election of General Michel Aoun, leader of the CPL, to the presidency of the Republic after a period of vacant for more than two years, Saad Hariri is responsible for forming a new government on November 3, 2016. He took office on 18 December 2016 and won the confidence of the Chamber of Deputies on 28 December by a majority of 87 votes out of 127 MPs. As Michel Aoun is considered close to the Syrian regime and Hezbollah, Saudi Arabia will cease while financially supporting Saad Hariri.
In 2015-2016, the company Saudi Oger (founded by his father and of which he took over) is affected by severe financial difficulties due to the refusal of the Saudi authorities to honour their arrears, which have the consequences of causing frequent suspensions of employees’ salaries. It will be declared bankrupt in June 2017 and will close on July 31, 2017.
Faced with Saudi Oger’s financial difficulties, the Lebanese Prime Minister will visit Saudi Arabia in November 2017. He announced his resignation as President of the Council of Ministers on 4 November 2017 in a speech broadcast from Riyadh denouncing Iran’s control over Lebanon and the region and its alliance with the Shiite movement Hezbollah. However, the resignation was considered null and void, with the Lebanese authorities deeming the prime minister kidnapped by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Following mediation by French President Emmanuel Macron, Saad Hariri will travel to France with his family on November 16, 2017 and then return to Lebanon on November 21 to announce the suspension of his resignation following a meeting with the President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun. It will then implement a policy of dissociating Lebanon from regional conflicts.
A third term and difficulties in forming a government of national unity
Appointed by parliamentarians for a third term on 24 May 2018 after the parliamentary elections of 6 May 2018, Saad Hariri will take 9 months to form his next government because of his desire to form a cabinet of national unity and the difficulties posed by the various political parties. His new cabinet will have to implement the reform programme presented at the aid conference in Lebanon called CEDRE in April 2018 and present an anti-corruption programme that is ravaging Lebanese public administrations.
He eventually resigned under popular pressure on October 29, 2019.
Saad Hariri refills for a 4th term
Saad Hariri will be reappointed as Prime Minister on Thursday 22 October, following mandatory parliamentary consultations conducted by the President of the Republic and at a time when Lebanon is now facing a major economic crisis. He is expected to succeed the first Hassan Diab, who has resigned since 10 August.