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Lebanon’s New PM-Designate Najib Mikati Gets to Work

Lebanon’s new prime minister-designate Najib Mikati was due to start consultations on forming a new government. He was scheduled to begin meeting with leading political parties on Tuesday.

Mikati, a billionaire and Lebanon’s richest man, has already served twice as a prime minister. He was selected to form a new government on Monday, days after the resignation of  Saad Hariri, who spent nearly a year trying to form a government that would be acceptable to Lebanese President Michel Aoun. Hariri resigned earlier this month a day after he proposed a new cabinet, what became the last of many proposals. Hariri had been proposing governments made up of technocrats able to pull the country out of its dire financial crisis. Mikati also has promised to form a government of experts.

According to the country’s constitution, Lebanon’s president must be a Maronite Christian and the prime minister a Sunni Muslim.

The previous government resigned in the wake of the massive Beirut port explosion nearly one year ago, that killed over 200 people and injured thousands and left much of the city in ruins. Hassan Diab remains the caretaker prime minister.