Lebanon Picks New PM-Designate

Najib Mikati, a prominent Lebanese businessman, won enough votes in parliamentary talks on Monday to be named the country’s new prime minister, raising expectations for a stable administration to address the country’s debilitating financial crisis.

On Monday, he also said that he will work to form a new administration but that the situation is too dire for him to handle alone.

“I don’t have a magic wand and can’t perform miracles … but I have studied the situation for a while and have international guarantees,” Mikati said after he won a majority of votes in parliamentary consultations to be nominated.

Earlier this week, Lebanese parliament approved the appointment of a billionaire businessman as prime minister, tasked with creating a cabinet and ending a year-long political gridlock amid an unprecedented financial crisis. 

Mikati, a two-term premier who last held office in 2014, won a substantial majority of 72 votes out of 118 legislators.

Hezbollah, a powerfully armed Shiite Islamist movement that the US considers a terrorist organization, nominated Mikati, and most of the main parliamentary blocs approved the pick.

“Today, with signs that hint at the possibility of forming a government …, that’s why we named Mikati, to give an extra boost to facilitate forming a government,” Muhammad Raad, the leader of Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc, told local reporters.


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