Press TV, Beirut
Lebanon's new prime minister-designate Najib Mikati has begun consultations with leading political parties with a view to forming a long-awaited government. The politician, already twice a prime minister, was designated on Monday, days after Saad Hariri failed to form a cabinet and stepped down.
Mikati said he hoped he can regain the trust of the people in the role of the state. He also vowed to meet with President Michel Aoun regularly in order to speed up the formation of the new government.
Mikati spoke after a day of non-binding meetings with Lebanese lawmakers who stated their views after separate consultations. Free Patriotic Movement declared it will not be taking part in the next government, but will offer all the necessary facilitation and support for a quick formation.
The Prime Minister designate stressed that he has the foreign support necessary to begin economic reforms.
One Member of Parliament told PressTV that when they asked about this support, Mikati stressed that France has given him assurances that after the formation of the cabinet they will give all assistance to resolve the financial and economic crisis. However, this assistance will not be without interest.
The main concern for all sides is salvaging the country’s economy which has been described by the World Bank as one of the world’s worst since the 1850s.
After initial meetings with the lawmakers, real political bargaining begins for the formation of the government. This in itself is a controversial issue with Mikati stressing the need for keeping to the French initiative to unlock foreign aid and opponents stressing the need for adhering to the national charter of confessional representation.