BEIRUT, July 28 (NNN-AGENCIES) — Following consultations with the various parliamentary blocs, Lebanese President Michel Aoun designated a new premier to deal with the country’s economic hardships, the presidential palace said.
Najib Mikati, 66, a billionaire businessman who has served twice as premier in 2005 and 2011, received 72 votes, the number needed to be tasked with forming a new cabinet.
Mikati, who hails from the northern port city of Tripoli, was named by the country’s major parliamentary blocs, including the pro-Iranian Hezbollah Shiite movement.
The Christian Lebanese forces and Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement did not name any candidate for the post.
The new premier’s task will be to form a government mainly made up of experts that will deal with the economic crisis, the worst Lebanon has seen since the civil war ended in 1990.
Under the constitution, the president has to consult with the different blocs in parliament before calling on the premier to form a new government.
On July 15, prime minister-designate Saad Hariri stepped down, citing political infighting. Caretaker premier Hassan Diab resigned in the wake of the massive explosion at Beirut’s port on Aug 4.
Lebanon’s president should be a Christian Maronite, the prime minister a Sunni Muslim and the parliamentary speaker a Shiite Muslim, according to an unwritten pact to establish a balance in the multi-confessional state that dates back to 1943. — NNN-AGENCIES