Saad Hariri
Saad Hariri Reuters

Lebanon's former prime minister Saad Hariri said on Thursday he was a possible candidate to head a new government to stem the country's economic collapse after the recent blast at the Beirut port.

"I am definitely a candidate" to head the next government, Hariri said during a live interview on the MTV television channel, as quoted by AFP.

I "will not close the door on the only hope left for Lebanon to stem this collapse," he added.

French President Emmanuel Macron last month extracted a pledge from all political sides in the former French protectorate to back speedy government formation as part of a roadmap out of the crisis, but efforts so far have failed.

The entire Lebanese cabinet, headed by former Prime Minister Hassan Diab, resigned in August following the massive explosion in Beirut.

The country, which is mired in its worst economic crunch in decades, is still reeling from the massive explosion that killed more than 200 people, wounded thousands and ravaged large parts of the capital.

President Michel Aoun is to hold parliamentary consultations on naming a new premier on Thursday next week, according to AFP.

Hariri said he was ready to start making phone calls during the coming week "if all political teams still agree on the program" discussed with Macron.

Hariri himself resigned last year following a wave of protests, which at times turned violent.

Following the resignation of Diab’s cabinet, Mustapha Adib was designated as Prime Minister, but he himself bowed out just weeks after being nominated, after his efforts to hammer out a cabinet were blocked by the country's two main Shiite political parties -- Hezbollah and Amal -- seeking to keep the finance ministry under their control.