BEIRUT — Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati plans to hold a cabinet meeting next week to discuss public servants’ salaries, a Grand Serail source told L’Orient-Le Jour on condition of anonymity.
The caretaker government has already held five meetings since the presidential vacancy began in November, at the end of former head of state Michel Aoun’s six-year term.
These meetings have been criticized by several political parties, including Gebran Bassil’s Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), which accuse Mikati of assuming some powers reserved for the president.
Mikati faced additional criticism this past week for a now-reversed decision to delay Lebanon’s daylight savings switchover by one month.
The caretaker prime minister “simply removed the knife from the wound and never backtracked in a matter of national character,” in deciding to reverse the delay.
Daylight savings will begin at midnight Wednesday evening-Thursday morning.
Mikati bore the brunt of popular and political criticism for the proposed delay, which temporarily placed Lebanon within two simultaneous time zones as various religious authorities, schools and media outlets (including L’Orient Today and its sister news outlet L’Orient-Le Jour) refused to abide by it, instead moving their clocks forward as usual.
“Every person has a capacity for endurance. Mine is beginning to reach its limits,” Mikati said at a cabinet meeting Monday, hinting at a potential resignation.
The caretaker premier was no longer considering leaving his post, the Grand Serail source said.
Mikati also met on Wednesday with Saudi ambassador to Lebanon Walid Bukhari, who said in a statement is country was continuing efforts "to pressure the Lebanese leadership to elect a president and carry out the necessary fundamental reforms."
Saudi Arabia has repeatedly urged Lebanese authorities to end the presidential vacuum.