Aoun Starts PM Consultations, Mikati Leads

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Aoun Starts PM Consultations, Mikati Leads

President Michel Aoun began Monday binding parliamentary consultations to designate a new prime minister for crises-hit Lebanon, with former premier Najib Mikati set to easily win the nomination.

Aoun started the one-day consultations with a meeting with Mikati. He then met other former PMs before began various parliamentary blocs and independent MPs to hear from them their nominations.

Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who 10 days ago stepped down as PM-designate, and his Future bloc nominated Mikati, as did rival Hezbollah's bloc. With more than 30 MPs already meeting the president by noon, all had named Mikati.

Once consultations are completed, Aoun will appoint the candidate who receive most nominations.

Hariri and other ex-premiers Sunday voiced support for Mikati, in a move that secured sufficient parliamentary majority for the Tripoli MP’s premiership bid, despite opposition from the country’s two main Christian parties: The Free Patriotic Movement and the Lebanese Forces.

Under the Constitution, Aoun is required to designate a candidate for prime minister with the most support from parliamentary blocs.

Lebanon has been left without a functioning government since caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab submitted his Cabinet’s resignation on Aug. 10 in the aftermath of last year’s massive explosion that pulverized Beirut Port, killed 210 people, wounded thousands and damaged entire neighborhoods in the capital.

 

Source: The Daily Star