Saad Al Hariri and Najib Mikati greet each other in Beirut on Monday. Reuters
Gulf Today Report
Lebanon's billionaire Najib Mikati secured enough votes in parliamentary consultations on Monday to be nominated as the country's new prime minister designate.
Mikati received 73 votes from 118 lawmakers. Earlier, Lebanese President Michel Aoun held a brief meeting with Mikati.
Prime Minister Hassan Diab, whose cabinet quit in August last year following the Beirut deadly blast, has continued in a caretaker capacity until the new government is formed.
Mikati served as prime minister twice, and unlike many Lebanese leaders does not hail from a political party or dynasty, did not give any statement after the meeting with president.
Like the previous nominee, Saad Al Hariri, he faces major challenges in navigating Lebanon's power-sharing structure to secure agreement on a cabinet to tackle a crippling financial crisis.
While Lebanon has been run by a caretaker administration for nearly a year, since a huge blast devastated large parts of Beirut, its currency has collapsed, jobs have vanished and banks have frozen accounts.
The economic freefall is Lebanon's worst crisis since the 1975-90 civil war. A senior political source said on Sunday that Hizbollah was set to nominate Mikati, and that most of the main parliamentary blocs supported the nomination.
Among Mikati's endorsers was Hariri, who abandoned his effort to form a new government last week after nearly 10 months of failing to agree its makeup with Aoun.
Hariri told reporters after meeting Aoun that he hoped Mikati would be chosen and succeed in forming a cabinet. "The country has a chance today," he said.
France remains committed to helping Lebanon in its plans for economic reforms, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday at talks in Paris with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri.
The US Treasury accused Mudalal Khoury in 2015 of "an attempted procurement of ammonium nitrate in late 2013". It sanctioned his brother Imad a year later for engaging in business activities with Mudalal.
Efforts by the French-supported Adib have hit multiple snags, after the country’s main Shiite groups, Hezbollah and Amal, insisted on retaining hold of the key Finance Ministry.
The UAE is exerting significant effort to deliver relief to Somali regions affected by the drought caused by a lack of rain for three consecutive seasons.
Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Frontline Heroes Office, said we are rapidly approaching the figure of 25 million COVID vaccines administered.
Also, for the first time in the history of the weekly draw, 7 Emirati second prize winners have topped the list of 22 Arab winners representing Lebanon, Jordan Syria, Egypt, Oman and Yemen.