Lebanon: President Aoun holds consultations to appoint prime minister-designate | Political News
Former prime minister and billionaire businessman Mikati looks set to get the majority of votes.
Beirut, Lebanon- President Michel Aoun has begun consultations with the parliamentary group with the purpose of finding a new prime minister-designate.
The talks started at the Babda Palace at 10:30 a.m. (07:30 GMT) on Monday and will continue until late in the afternoon.
The former prime minister and billionaire businessman Najib Mikati (Najib Mikati) led the Azm Movement’s three-member parliamentary group, It looks like it will get a majority of votes.
Aoun has already met with Mikati and former prime minister Saad Hariri, who supported Mikati on Sunday, saying that the country urgently “needs a government.”
The candidate with the most votes will be appointed as the new prime minister-designate and will be responsible for the formation of the government.
Like Hariri and other former prime ministers Fuad Siniora and Taman Salam, Mikati has the support of senior Sunni political leaders.
In a statement on Sunday, Siniora said that this support is based on his plan to form a technocratic government that will implement economic and structural reforms and restart bailout negotiations with the International Monetary Fund.
Speaker Nabih Berry and the Amal Movement also supported Mikati. After Mikati met with the political coordinator of the party’s leader Said Hassan Nasrallah, Shi’ite Hezbollah was very May follow suit.
The Druze-majority Progressive Socialist Party also supports Mikati.
However, the Tripoli businessmen lacked the support of the majority of Christian parliamentarians. The 15 parliament members of the Lebanese Army announced that they would not nominate candidates, while 31 parliament members of the Free Patriotic Movement reportedly opposed Mikati as an option, arguing that he was too close to Hariri.
In Lebanon’s political system, the prime minister is a Sunni Muslim, the president is a Maronite Christian, and the speaker is a Shia Muslim.
Since the resignation of the caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab after the Beirut port bombing in August last year, the country has had no formal government for nearly a year.
Lebanon continues to fight a severe financial crisis that has plunged half of its population into poverty and devalued the Lebanese pound by more than 90%.
The international community has repeatedly called on Lebanon to form a government and commit to implementing structural reforms to release development loans and aid to restructure and restore the economy.
In October 2020, Hariri returned as prime minister-designate, but he could not agree with President Aoun on the size and sectarian distribution of the reformist and technocratic government. Due to a nine-month political deadlock, he resigned 10 days ago.
Mikati had previously served as the Prime Minister of Lebanon for two terms; first in the caretaker government for three months in 2005, and then in the mature government from April 2011 to February 2014.
He also served as Minister of Public Works and Transportation in 1998. He leads the Azim Movement Party and is currently one of the three members of Parliament.
At the end of 2019, Lebanese prosecutor Ghada Aoun accused Mikati, his brother Taha and son Maher, and Audi Bank of illegally making huge profits through subsidized housing loans. Mikatis argues that these allegations are politically motivated.