Former Prime Minister Najib Mikati is now a big favorite of the mandatory parliamentary consultations which will begin tomorrow at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, despite the opposition of Christian parties who either choose to support Nawaf Salam, former representative of Lebanon to the UN like the Free Patriotic Current, or will abstain as is the case of the Lebanese Forces.
Najib Mikati, for his part, discussed his candidacy with his 3 predecessors Tamam Salam, Fouad Saniora or Saad Hariri, during a meeting held at the end of the afternoon at the Maison du Center, home of Saad Hariri. . As a reminder, the latter was also appointed prime minister designate on October 22, 2020 before throwing in the towel 9 months later due to major disputes with the President of the Republic concerning the attribution of certain ministries and the appointment of Christian ministers to the within the next cabinet.
But a political crisis still unresolved
The latter accused the presidency of the republic of violating the Lebanese constitution, believing that it was up to the prime minister alone to choose his ministers. False, retorted the Palace of Baabda, putting forward certain constitutional articles stipulating that the Prime Minister forms the government with the President of the Republic.
The former prime ministers have thus announced their support for Najib Mikati to form a cabinet which should comply with the French initiative and that of the President of the Chamber of Deputies, thus imposing a third on the Sunni community, a third on the community. Shiite and a third to the Christian community, which is contrary to the national pact, stipulating a distribution half and half between Christian and Muslim community, had already considered the Head of State, General Michel Aoun.
The President of the Republic, however, indicated that he was ready to cooperate with Najib Mikati in an interview in the columns of the daily al Joumhouria, stressing that the latter “is good for reducing differences and the type of cooperative person who takes and who gives “. With honest dialogue, we could solve the biggest problem, without violating the constitution and standards, believes President Aoun.
A country without a government as the economic crisis hits it hard
Lebanon has been without government since the resignation, on August 10, of outgoing Prime Minister Hassan Diab.
The formation of a new government is considered as one of the preconditions for the relaunch of negotiations with the International Monetary Fund in order to obtain the release of financial aid from the international community in the face of the economic crisis that Lebanon is going through.
Following Mustafa Adib’s failure to form a cabinet, former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who resigned following major protests in October 2019, was tasked with forming a new government in October 2020.
In an attempt to unblock the situation, the former prime minister promised the Amal movement to allocate the portfolio of the finance ministry to a member of the Shiite community. He also reiterated that Lebanon could do without a state of default, thus denying the gravity of the economic crisis however experienced by the population, with 55% of it now living below the poverty line while the economic recession has reached 29% according to some reports for the year 2020.
However, Saad Hariri’s proposals for an 18-member cabinet clash with the Presidency of the Republic, who points out that if the Shiite and Sunni communities choose their representatives, the Christian representatives in the new cabinet would also be chosen by the former. designated minister. General Aoun de facto considers that the current proposals of the Prime Minister contravene both the Lebanese constitution and the national pact.
The latter, for his part, accuses the head of state of wanting to obtain a blocking third party within his new cabinet.