Caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri said on Wednesday he is not a candidate for prime minister but insisted that formal consultations to designate a new premier take place on Thursday as scheduled.
"I announce that I will not be a candidate to form the coming government," Hariri, prime minister in the outgoing government, said in a statement.
Fifty days after unprecedented nationwide demonstrations against Lebanon's reviled political elite forced him to step down, the caretaker premier had looked like he might attempt to keep his seat.
But he said his name was drawing too much opposition for him to be a candidate when official consultations to pick a new line-up begin on Thursday.
"I have strived to meet their demand for a government of experts, which I saw as the only option to address the serious social and economic crisis our country faces," he said.