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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Beirut - Caroline Akoum

Lebanon: LF, FPM Won’t Nominate Mikati

Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati speaks after meeting with President Michel Aoun, at the presidential palace in Baabda, Lebanon August 16, 2021. Dalati Nohra/Handout via REUTERS

Lebanon’s parliamentary consultations at the Baabda Palace on Thursday will see the deputies of Hezbollah and Amal Movement, as well as a number of Sunni and independent representatives, name caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati to head the next government.

Two other groups will also designate Mikati, including the National Moderation Bloc, which was launched on Wednesday and includes six MPs from the north, and the National Independent Bloc, which gathers three deputies.

The caretaker premier is likely to receive around 50 votes out of the 128 parliamentarians.

Nawaf Salam, a judge on the International Court of Justice, will be nominated by the Lebanese Kataeb Party (4 deputies) and the Democratic Gathering Bloc (8 deputies). Meanwhile, 13 MPs of the Change Movement were still undecided on a unified name by Wednesday evening.

The Lebanese Forces party announced Wednesday that it would refrain from naming a candidate.

Head of the LF party Samir Geagea said that his bloc’s decision was based on the fact that none of the candidates “meet the specifications that we put forward.”

“We were the first to name Judge Salam (in previous consultations), but since then we have not known what his positions are on the issues raised, and we have not heard any positions from him… Moreover, we have not seen consensus between the opposition political forces on Nawaf Salam, therefore we will not name him,” Geagea said.

He continued: “With the presence of President Michel Aoun in Baabda, there is no hope for a major change that any government can achieve…”

Geagea noted that his bloc would not participate in the next cabinet nor nominate Mikati, as the latter always insisted on a national unity government.

The head of the FPM, MP Gebran Bassil, had announced his refusal to nominate Mikati, without presenting an alternative candidate.

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