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Lebanon’s Hariri Dismisses Future Officials as PM Seeks Accountability

May 15

 Lebanon’s Hariri Dismisses Future Officials as PM Seeks Accountability

The results of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s first assessment of the performance of officials from his Future Movement began appearing on Sunday when the premier dismissed two of them.

The dismissal of Wissam Hariri and Maher Abu al-Khudoud came as the premier’s cousin and chief of staff, Nader Hariri, resigned.

The prime minister’s press office said that Hariri thanked his chief of staff for his efforts throughout his tenure and wished him success in everything he aspires to.

Hariri decided to appoint Mohammed Mneimneh as acting chief of staff, his office said in a terse statement.

“There are a lot of theories and speculation about what happened,” the prime minister tweeted late Sunday. “The dismissals that happened have one reason, and that is accountability.”

Hariri’s parliamentary bloc shrank from 33 to 21 in the May 6 parliamentary elections, although it remains one of the four largest in the legislature.

His move on Sunday seemed to be the starting point for the reorganization of his movement after coming under popular pressure and receiving complaints of certain gaps in the work of some Future officials.

Those gaps could have contributed to the smaller share that the movement received in the last elections.

But sources close to Hariri told Asharq Al-Awsat not to make wide speculations and to give the issue some time.

Future MP Mohammed al-Hajjar denied that Hariri’s move was aimed at restructuring the movement.

He told the newspaper that the current measures were the result of an evaluation process that all democratic parties undertake.

“We were expecting better election results although we scored higher than what our rivals thought we would,” the lawmaker said.