October 31, 2019 / 7:11 PM / 12 days ago

Lebanon's president Aoun pledges cabinet of technocrats in new government

People smoke hookah as they watch Lebanon's President Michel Aoun addressing the nation in a televised speech, in Beirut, Lebanon October 31, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanese President Michel Aoun pledged on Thursday to form a new government in which ministers would be chosen by expertise rather than political affiliation, after the resignation of Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri following weeks of nationwide protests.

In a televised address Aoun pledged to move the state away from its sectarian-based political system to a civil state calling sectarianism a “destructive disease”.

Protesters have called for a technocratic government and the end of a sectarian system where posts are allocated according to religious sects.

Reporting by Laila Bassam, Eric Knecht and Lisa Barrington; editing by Grant McCool

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