World Bulletin / News Desk
At a ceremony in Beirut, Hariri officially received his prime ministerial mandate from Fouad Fleifel, secretary-general of Lebanon’s council of ministers.
Hariri’s new cabinet is expected to hold its first meeting with President Michel Aoun on Wednesday.
On Sunday, Lebanon unveiled its new, 30-member government containing representatives of the country’s main political groups.
Hariri, a Sunni-Muslim politician who leads Lebanon’s Future Movement, was appointed to the premiership last month following the election of President Michel Aoun -- after a two-year presidency vacuum -- in late October.
In recent years, Lebanon’s political forces have been largely divided between the "March 14" alliance, which backs the armed opposition in next-door Syria, and the "March 8" alliance, which includes Hezbollah and supports Syria’s Assad regime.
A third, centrist bloc, meanwhile, is led by Druze politician Walid Jumblatt and former Prime Minister Najib Mikati.
In 1943, ethnically-diverse Lebanon’s Muslims and Christians agreed to distribute the country’s three most important political posts between them.
According to an unwritten National Charter that remains in effect until today, the president (who serves for non-renewable six-year terms) should be a Maronite Christian, the prime minister a Sunni Muslim, and the speaker of parliament a Shia Muslim.