Hezbollah names caretaker Premier Najib Mikati for Lebanon’s premiership
Hezbollah has named caretaker prime minister Najib Mikati for the Arab country’s premiership, as Lebanese lawmakers hold binding consultations over who should be the next prime minister following nationwide elections last month.
The Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc, which is the political wing of Hezbollah in the Lebanese parliament, announced Thursday that it had chosen incumbent Prime Minister Mikati, a politician and businessman who has already served in the role three times, as the small Mediterranean country’s next prime minister.
“We have decided to nominate Premier Mikati as the head of the next government,” said lawmaker Mohammad Raad, the chief of the Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc, the Hezbollah-linked al-Manar television network reported.
“Our position is easy and restrained. Lebanon needs a government that can manage its affairs and interests. Crises require realism, providing all opportunities and removing obstacles to form a government to deal with deadlines and developments,” he added, stressing that the character of the designated premier will enhance opportunities for this purpose.
The bloc’s nomination of Mikati came shortly after lawmakers began binding consultations with President Michel Aoun at Baabda Palace over who should be Lebanon’s next prime minister.
The consultations with the president on Thursday commenced at 10 a.m. and will last until 16:45 p.m. local time.
The designated prime minister must form the 88th government in Lebanon’s history and the fifth during Aoun’s tenure. It is predicted that Mikati will hold the position for the fourth time.
On May 31, Lebanese lawmakers re-elected Nabih Berri as the country's parliament speaker for a seventh consecutive term after his candidature went largely unchallenged.
The 84-year-old veteran politician and one of the longest-serving parliament chiefs in the world secured 65 votes in the 128-member body.