Hariri's son to take over political mantle

The family of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri announced today that his second eldest son, Saad, would assume the political mantle left by the assassinated Lebanese leader.

The family of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri announced today that his second eldest son, Saad, would assume the political mantle left by the assassinated Lebanese leader.

The announcement came ahead of parliamentary elections that should take place by the end of May. It did not say whether Saad Hariri would run for elections, but appeared to be a first step toward that aim.

“Saad Rafik Hariri will assume the historic responsibility and leadership of all national and political affairs,” a statement issued by the late premier’s office said.

The statement said Hariri’s wife, Nazek, would assume responsibility for the social and charity arm of Hariri’s institutions.

It said the decision was taken after a family meeting today that came at the end of the mourning period and was attended by Hariri’s wife and their seven children.

The decision put an end to weeks of speculation on whether any of Hariri’s sons would remain involved in politics following his assassination on February 14 in a massive bombing.

His family had committed to staying active but none of his children had been named to assume his political mantle.

Hariri’s sister Bahiya is a member of parliament.

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