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What has (and hasn't) changed: Leaked document from Mikati to Aoun on government formation

What has (and hasn't) changed: Leaked document from Mikati to Aoun on government formation

A document of the proposed cabinet lineup submitted by Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati to President Michel Aoun on Wednesday morning was leaked later that day.

BEIRUT — A document of the proposed cabinet lineup submitted by Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati to President Michel Aoun on Wednesday morning was leaked later that day. The list would renew the terms of most current caretaker ministers with the exception of caretaker Energy Minister Walid Fayad, caretaker Finance Minister Youssef Khalil, caretaker Minister for the Displaced Issam Charafeddine and caretaker Economy Minister Amin Salam.

Here’s what we know:

    • According to the leaked list, the caretaker Energy Minister Walid Fayad, who belongs to the Orthodox sect and is from Aoun’s share in the former government, has been replaced by oil and gas engineer Walid Sinno.

    • The caretaker Economy Minister, Amin Salam, was replaced by the caretaker Industry Minister George Bouchakian, who was, in turn, replaced by Walid Assaf, who is the chairman and general manager of Societe Moderne Libanaise Pour Le Commerce Pepsi Cola.

    • The caretaker Finance Minister Youssef Khalil was replaced by former member of Parliament Yassine Jaber, who belongs to the Shiite sect and is affiliated with the Amal Movement. The Finance Ministry which was held by Khalil as part of Amal and Hezbollah’s share in the previous cabinet has been held by Shiite individuals as demanded by Amal and Hezbollah since Tammam Salam’s government in 2016, a matter that causes controversy in every government formation process. Jaber had refrained from running for the 2022 parliamentary elections, after 30 years in Parliament. He had also held the position of the Economy Minister from 1996 to 1998.

    • The caretaker Displaced Minister Issam Charafeddine was replaced by the current MP Sagih Attieh, who belongs to the Greek Orthodox sect and is a former Future Movement member. The rest of the ministers are current caretaker ministers.

    • Late Wednesday, following the leak of the proposed cabinet lineup, Mikati’s Media Adviser, Fares Gemayel, considered in an interview with local television MTV that "the leak of the new government formation is dishonorable," and said: "This formation was supposed to remain secret between the two presidents,” referring to Aoun and Mikati. Gemayel added that “If the leak was intended to disrupt the government formation process, the message has been delivered."

    • A source from the Presidential Palace told L’Orient Today that the Presidential Palace is not the source of the leak. “It is not the habit of the [Presidential] Palace circles to use this method and what Baabda wants to say or publish, will be distributed officially according to the procedures.”

    • Earlier today, a spokesperson for Mikati told L’Orient Today that Aoun would decide whether to sign off on the new cabinet after he “studies” the proposed ministers’ names, but it is still unclear when he will give his approval, if he does so.

    • A source from the Baabda Presidential Palace told L’Orient Today following the submission of the list that “President Aoun still has to review the list and take his time before submitting his notes to Mikati.”

    • This development comes after two days of non-binding parliamentary consultations that started on Monday in which several parties announced their boycott of the future cabinet, in particular the Lebanese Forces, the Progressive Socialist Party, the Kataeb, the opposition members of Parliament and the bloc by Michel Mouawad.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this post quoted a spokesperson for Mikati as saying that the president will sign off on the proposed cabinet lineup after studying it. The spokesperson said that Aoun will decide whether to sign off on the proposed cabinet lineup after studying it.


BEIRUT — A document of the proposed cabinet lineup submitted by Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati to President Michel Aoun on Wednesday morning was leaked later that day. The list would renew the terms of most current caretaker ministers with the exception of caretaker Energy Minister Walid Fayad, caretaker Finance Minister Youssef Khalil, caretaker Minister for the Displaced Issam...