BEIRUT — On Tuesday, Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati accused the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) of conducting a "campaign" against him after a series of hiring rotations of certain Foreign Affairs Ministry officials.
On Sunday, the FPM criticized these rotations in a tweet, stating that they were "incomplete and incorrect," and rejected them "in the absence of a president."
The FPM has often criticized Mikati for adjoining cabinet sessions and making other high-level decisions amid Lebanon's presidential vacuum, claiming he is assuming certain presidential powers in doing so.
In response, Mikati issued a statement on Monday night, criticizing the FPM's attack.
Mikati added that the hiring rotations were made not under his own purview but rather that of caretaker Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib, who is close to former president and FPM founder Michel Aoun.
He also pointed out that he had issued a circular requiring prior approval of decisions before their publication, including those related to third-category diplomatic assignments.
In the statement, the caretaker Prime Minister explained that Bou Habib's decision involved sending 32 third-category diplomats abroad who had worked four years at the central administration, although the law stipulates a maximum duration of two years for their assignments. In return, the Foreign Minister decided to recall 32 third-category diplomats who had spent four years abroad back to Beirut.