Najib Mikati named prime minister in Lebanon

Beirut, Jul 26 (EFE).- Najib Mikati, who served twice as prime minister, on Monday was tasked with forming a new government by the Lebanese President Michel Aoun after a series of parliamentary consultations.

“I thank all the members of the Legislative Assembly who chose me and appointed me,” Mikati said at the presidential palace located southern the capital.

Mikati, a moderate pro-Syrian, said he believes he has the “capacities” and “external guarantees” to form a government, or otherwise, he would not have accepted the task.

The billionaire businessman also addressed the worsening situation in Lebanon, which has been struggling with shortages of basic goods and repeated power cuts as well as a political deadlock with a caretaker government running the country for months.

 “Time for someone to put out the fire,” said Mikati, who was the premier in 2005 and 2011, in a televised speech.

He was named after Saad Hariri stepped down as prime minister-designate on 15 July after failing to form a government in nine months.

His appointment came after a long day of parliamentary consultations in which Mikati obtained the support of most of the political blocs.

However, Free Patriotic Movement founded by Aoun did not support Mikati but decided not to name another candidate, its leader and the president’s son-in law Gebran Bassil posted to his Twitter account. EFE


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