BEIRUT — Parliamentary consultations to name a new prime minister-designate will be held next week at the Baabda Palace, according to a source at the Presidential Palace.
Here’s what we know:
• During the consultations, names of potential prime minister-designates, one of which will form the new cabinet will be laid on the table. By convention, and not by legislation, the office holder is always reserved for a Sunni Muslim.
• Earlier this month, Caretaker PM Najib Mikati has expressed his reluctance to head the future government saying that he finds the task “difficult … because most of the political discourse revolves around who has a stronger backing than who.” He also suggested names of potential candidates who could fill in his post, such as legislators Ashraf Rifi, Abdul Rahman Bizri, and a former economist at the International Monetary Fund, Amer Bassat, adding that he would “support any other candidate proffered.”
• In a tweet, the presidency said Thursday that the parliamentary consultations will take place “in the coming days,” but a source at the Presidential Palace confirmed to L’Orient Today that the consultations will start next week, without specifying which day, with the aim of finding a new prime minister-designate. As for the presidency, President Michel Aoun urged in a tweet for the future government to “resolve the economic situation and [work on] the negotiations with the IMF.”
• In the past, forming a new government in Lebanon has proven to be an arduous task that could take months, despite the political and economic urgencies and the desperate need for reforms. The current government led by Mikati came to light in September 2021 after 13 months of political stalemate, and was tasked with steering Lebanon to recovery.