Lebanese President's Office: Hariri Asked To Lead Caretaker Government

"(CNN)
Lebanese President Michel Suleiman asked the country's prime minister Thursday to remain as head of a caretaker administration after Hezbollah and its allies brought down Lebanon's unity government, his office said.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri's government fell Wednesday after Minister of State Adnan Sayyed Hussein turned in his resignation along with 10 members of the Hezbollah-led March 8 alliance, meaning that the threshold needed to collapse the government -- 11 resignations from the 30-member Cabinet -- had been reached.

Suleiman also asked the Cabinet to continue with its duties until a new government can be formed, the Lebanese National News Agency reported Thursday.

Suleiman issued a decree scheduling parliamentary consultations to name the next prime minister for Monday and Tuesday. That prime minister will form the new government.

The Lebanese Constitution stipulates that the president must hold consultations with members of parliament -- individually or by parliamentary blocs -- to name their candidate for prime minister. The candidate who gets the most votes or nominations is then named prime minister and asked to form a government. Hariri was meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House as the political crisis erupted in Lebanon.

""The efforts by the Hezbollah-led coalition to collapse the Lebanese government only demonstrate their own fear and determination to block the government's ability to conduct its business and advance the aspirations of all of the Lebanese people,"" Obama said Wednesday.Hariri was in Paris Thursday evening, where he was planning to meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Hariri's office said.

From there, he is headed to Turkey.

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal told CNN that Hariri is arriving in Ankara, Turkey, later Thursday. Hariri is scheduled to meet with the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan."