UPDATE 2-Lebanon finance, foreign ministers to stay in new cabinet - senior official
Ali Hassan Khalil, a top aide to Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, will remain finance minister, the official told Reuters. A second senior political source, who confirmed Foreign Minister German Bassil would keep his job, said Elias Bou Saab would become defence minister.
Lebanon is on track to form a new cabinet in days, politicians said, after months of wrangling that has hurt the outlook for its struggling economy.
More than seven months since a parliamentary election, rival parties have yet to agree a deal on the government as officials warn of economic crisis.
Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri's efforts have faced conflicting demands for cabinet seats, which Lebanon's power-sharing system parcels out based on sectarian group.
Bassil, President Michel Aoun's son-in-law, heads the Free Patriotic Movement, of which Bou Saab is also a member. The defence ministry in the outgoing cabinet was with the Christian Maronite FPM that Aoun founded.
The stagnant economy will be a top priority for the next government. Heavily indebted, Lebanon needs an administration that can set about long-stalled reforms to put public debt on a sustainable footing.
Lebanon is the world's third-most indebted nation with a debt-to-GDP ratio of more than 150 percent. (Reporting by Laila Bassam and Tom Perry; Writing by Ellen Francis; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Jon Boyle)
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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