Lebanese President Michel Aoun began Monday binding parliamentary consultations aimed at designating a prime minister to form a new government, with former Prime Minister Najib Miqati is leading the nomination.
Aoun started the one-day consultations at Baabda Palace with a meeting with Miqati. 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 less than two weeks ago stepped down as PM-designate, and his Future bloc nominated Miqati, as did Hezbollah’s bloc. By 1 p.m., 52 MPs out of 54 had named Miqati.
Hariri told reporters after meeting Aoun that he hoped Miqati would be chosen and succeed in forming a cabinet.
“The country has a chance today,” he said, as quoted by The Daily Star Lebanese newspaper.
“Today, with signs that hint at the possibility of forming a government … that’s why we named Miqati, to give an extra boost to facilitate forming a government,” Mohammad Raad, the head of Hezbollah’s Loyalty to Resistance parliamentary bloc, told reporters.
Once consultations are completed Monday afternoon, Aoun will appoint the candidate who receive most nominations.
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 August 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: Lebanese media