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Lebanon's Opposition Rejects to Participate in Mikati's New Cabinet

Lebanon's Opposition Rejects to Participate in Mikati's New Cabinet

Saturday, 25 June, 2022 - 09:00
Lebanon's Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati (EPA)

Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati's optimism about the possibility of swiftly forming a new cabinet at the end of next week does not mean that his task will be easy.

The distribution of votes in the parliamentary consultations and the positions of the political parties suggest that the government will include parties of the same affiliations.

The government could be similar to the current caretaker government headed by Mikati after the opposition blocs announced they wouldn't participate in the new cabinet.

Hours after his assignment, Mikati said it would be difficult "to form a government of just one color," asserting: "I do not accept it."

He indicated that he would present the new government formation to President Michel Aoun late next week.

There’s a general conviction that Mikati will not be able to form a government and will remain the designated prime minister and the head of the caretaker government.

The Lebanese Forces (LF) and the Progressive Socialist Party have rejected to join the government. The Change's MPs and the Kataeb Party also rejected Mikati and nominated the former ambassador, Nawaf Salam, as prime minister.

However, it does not appear that the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), which previously preferred not naming any figure, will distance itself from the formation based on what it considers "the president's share."

MP Simon Abi Ramia called for the formation of a cabinet of politicians, adding in a televised interview that the FPM supports such a government because the country is in a political crisis.

Abi Ramia explained that the current stage doesn't require specialists, stressing that there must be consensus to save the country and ensure political stability.

The Secretary of the Democratic Gathering, MP Hadi Abou El-Hassan, had previously announced that the bloc would not participate in the government directly but that the Druze community would be represented.

LF sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that they would not participate in any government for the remainder of the president's term.

The sources confirm that this stage requires managing the transitional phase with the least possible contradictions in preparation for the presidential elections and then a smooth transition of power.

Meanwhile, the Shiite duo represented by Hezbollah and the Amal movement will be a crucial partner in the government.

Their sources confirmed to the newspaper that the government would be formed if there is an "honest intention," regardless of the remaining term before the presidential elections.

The sources assert that obstructing the formation is not in anyone's interest. They reiterated that Hezbollah and Amal would participate in the government, regardless of its name and form, to help alleviate the people's suffering.

The head of Hezbollah's parliamentary bloc, MP Mohammad Raad, said: "Lebanon needs a government that can manage its affairs and interests.”

“Crises require pragmatism, providing all opportunities and removing obstacles to form a cabinet to deal with deadlines and developments," he added.

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