Former Prime Minister Nagib Mikati
Former Prime Minister Nagib Mikati

Faced with the impasse, part of the international community would now support the candidacy of Nagib Mikati in place of that of Prime Minister designate Saad Hariri, 9 months after the resignation of the Hassan Diab government. Saad Hariri would however still benefit from the support of the Amal movement and that of Hezbollah.

Nagib Mikati’s candidacy had already been approached in October 2020.

According to some sources published by the daily Al Akhbar, former Prime Minister Nagib Mikati now has the support of Saudi Arabia, the United States and France.

Saad Hariri would not himself be opposed to this candidacy in the face of the absence of Saudi support on his person and which had come to light after the publication of press articles in this country against him. He would also face deep disagreements with the President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun and the leader of the Free Patriotic Current Gébran Bassil with whom communications seem to be completely interrupted.

This information comes at a time when, from a source close to the Prime Minister-designate, any resignation is ruled out for the moment because of the support of the president of the chamber Nabih Berri or of Hezbollah. These same sources underline that an agreement would have even been concluded with Nabih Berri as of the announcement of his candidacy concerning the ministry of finance. Nabih Berri also believes that Saad Hariri would be the best choice to overcome the current crisis in the Land of Cedars.

Finally, unlike Nagib Mikati, Saad Hariri would continue to benefit from the support of Walid Joumblatt and the Marada movement.

For his part, Nagib Mikati has already declared himself in favor of a government of 20 to 24 techno-political ministers in accordance with the wishes of the Presidency of the Republic.

This candidacy could however be rejected by the civil society which considers Nagib Mikati – already twice prime minister from April to July 2005 and from June 2011 to February 2014 – as part of a political class today discredited because of the corruption and the conflicts of interest that plague it. Sources close to the opposition movements recall that the latter faces certain accusations of embezzlement of local public funds, alluding to his indictment by judge Ghada Aoun in the scandal of the allocation of real estate loans normally intended for people having only limited income or even accusations of embezzlement of European funds, particularly in the context of waste management in northern Lebanon. Demonstrations have taken place on several occasions since October 2019 in front of his home. He went so far as to threaten to shoot the demonstrators if they attacked his property.

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