Can Lebanon’s new finance minister steer economy out of crisis?

Newly appointed Finance Minister Ghazi Wazni said on Wednesday that he felt the “heavy weight” of his task to steer Lebanonout of an acute financial crisis and gain the trust of a protesting population.

Diab’s cabinet is backed by majority Shia groups Hezbollah and the Amal Movement, as well as the Christian Free Patriotic Movement. Lebanon’s sectarian power-sharing arrangement mandates the prime minister be a Sunni Muslim.

The new government was formed nearly three months after the cabinet of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned amid unprecedented nationwide protests against the country’s rapidly deteriorating economy, as well as rampant corruption and Lebanon’s sectarian political system.

Protesters have pushed for a government of experts or technocrats who are independent of traditional sectarian parties. Some of those demands were met. The new government is mostly technocrats with some political appointees, but almost all of them were picked by traditional political parties.

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