After obtaining the support of Sunni groups in Lebanon, former Prime Minister Najib Mikati is set to start a new term in the same role. Lebanon Parliament votes on the new candidate on Monday ending a year of chaos following Diab Resignation.
Sunni national figures rallied around the Tripoli MP and tycoon on Sunday. Sa’ad al-Hariri, once the Lebanese Prime Minister, is among the Sunni leaders who voiced support for Najib Mikati. Mikati has also received support from parliament Speaker and the Amal Movement. Hezbollah, as a fellow shitte party, is expected to a similar approach.
Najib Mikati has also received support from the Progressive Socialist Party, a party with a majority of Druze followers. Mikati, on the other hand, does not have the assistance of a major part of Christian lawmakers.
The Lebanese Forces, with 15 seats in the parliament, declared their refusal to support a candidate. Free Patriotic Movement, on the other hand, allegedly reject Najib Mikati as a candidate, considering him as too sympathetic with Hariri. The movement has a determining the 31 seats.
President Michel Aoun has called for formal parliamentary consultations today, during which MPs will name their prospective prime minister. After receiving a majority of the MP votes, prime minister-designate will be responsible for establishing the government.
Prime minister, in the Lebanese administrative and judicial apparatus, must be a Sunni Muslim. The president, on the other hand, is a Maronite Christian. Shitte Muslims have their representative in the Lebanese political system as the speaker of parliament.
A year after Hassan Diab departed the office, the formation of new government is hoped to begin on Monday. The former caretaker Prime Minister withdrew from the office following the controversial Beirut Port explosion in August 2020. Lebanon has, thus, passed over a year without an administrative leader.
A Crisis-Stricken Year
Lebanon is still reeling from the catastrophic consequences of the financial collapse. The economic depression has pushed half of the country into misery and slashed the value of the national currency to less than 10%.
Lebanon has been urged by global community to establish a government dedicated to enacting fundamental reforms. Unleashing development finance and assistance in order to rebuild and restore its economy is part of the international advisory to Lebanese political policy-makers.
Sa’ad al-Hariri‘s re-electtion as prime minister-designate occurred few months after Diab resignation. He, nevertheless, had disagreements with Aoun as president on the form and sectarian balance of a reform-seeking and technocratic cabinet. Following the political impasse for over nine months, Hariri resigned in mid-July.
Najib Mikati served as Lebanese PM for two periods. He experienced premiership in a caretaker administration for over three months sixteen years ago. His second term in office, nevertheless, was a full government for three years from 2011-2014.
In 1998, Mikati was also the Minister of Public Works and Transportation. He is the founder and leader of Azm Movement. He, along with two others, serves as the party’s Member in parliament.
Najib Mikati, along with his brother Taha, are the co-founders of the M1 Group in Beirut. The two are successful businessmen and of the rare billionaires still residing and working inside Lebanon.
Controversial charges against Najib Mikati, his brother, and his son hit the headlines in late 2019. Lebanese prosecutor alleged the group, along with, as well as Bank Audi, with illegal profiting through discounted home loans. The Mikati family rejected allegations as political activism against Mikatis.
Mikati will have a hard job containing the unbridled inflation following securing approval in Lebanese parliament. Lebanon recently called for the international community to intervene and help Lebanon amid an imminent societal implosion.