PM-Designate Mikati Starts Bid to Form Long-Delayed Cabinet

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PM-Designate Mikati Starts Bid to Form Long-Delayed Cabinet

New Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati began consultations with parliamentary blocs Tuesday, kicking off his effort to form a long-awaited government that would tackle Lebanon's economic crisis.

The billionaire politician, already twice a prime minister, was designated Monday, less than two weeks after Saad Hariri threw in the towel.

He is scheduled to meet lawmakers at Parliament all day to hear their views on the new Cabinet. The non-binding consultations with the parliamentary blocs are the customary official step that follows a new prime minister's designation but the high-stakes horse-trading has yet to begin.

Mikati, the third politician in a year to attempt to form a government, promised to form a government of experts, in line with a French road map conditioning a huge aid package on reform and transparency.

In an interview with the An-Nahar newspaper, Mikati vowed his lineup would be "purely technocratic".

Lebanon has been without a fully functioning government for nearly a year with the deadlock holding up any potential financial rescue plan for a country sinking into what the World Bank has described as one of the world's most severe crises since the mid-19th century.

Source: The Daily Star