News / Middle East

Opposition Candidate Poised to be Next Lebanese PM

Lebanese MP and former PM Najib Mikati smiles as he delivers a news conference after meeting Lebanon's President Michel Suleiman at the presidential palace in Baabda, near Beirut, during the start of the two-day parliamentary consultations to choose a new
Lebanese MP and former PM Najib Mikati smiles as he delivers a news conference after meeting Lebanon's President Michel Suleiman at the presidential palace in Baabda, near Beirut, during the start of the two-day parliamentary consultations to choose a new

The Iranian-backed Hezbollah appears to have secured enough votes to nominate its candidate for prime minister, giving the opposition control of the next Lebanese government.  
A parade of Lebanese politicians streamed through the presidential palace as consultations got underway on who would head the next government, announcing who they would support for prime minister.  

But it was Druse leader Walid Jumblatt's announcement that he and six of the deputies in his bloc would support Najib Mikati as prime minister that swung the race in favor of the Hezbollah-led opposition.

Jumblatt's seven votes added to the opposition's 57 seats in parliament, plus Mikati's vote, gives them the 65 deputies needed to tip the nomination to their candidate, a billionaire businessman who represents the northern city of Tripoli.

Najib Mikati announced his candidacy in a statement late Sunday calling for dialogue and the re-establishment of trust among Lebanese leaders.

After his meeting with President Michel Sleiman, Mikati told reporters he told the president that in this time of political crisis there must be an effort to save the country and he called for unity.

But caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri said he and his Future bloc would not participate in a government headed by a candidate from the March 8th opposition.

Meanwhile, some disturbances were reported in the city of Tripoli, a Sunni stronghold where both Najib Mikati and Saad Hariri have a large number of supporters, as well as in Sidon, Hariri's hometown.

If the Hezbollah-led opposition secures its influence over the next government, they will likely move to cut off all cooperation with the U.N.-backed international tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, including ceasing financing and withdrawing all Lebanese judges from the international court.

Hezbollah, which gets its backing from Iran and Syria, is angry that Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Rafiq Hariri's son, is supporting the work of the U.N.-backed tribunal for Lebanon.  It is widely believed in Lebanon that members of Hezbollah will be implicated in the massive truck bombing that killed Mr. Hariri and 22 others.

 

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countriesi
X
December 16, 2014 2:14 PM
Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.
Video

Video Indonesian Province to Expand Sharia Law

Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population and a legal system based on Dutch civil law and Indonesian government regulations. But in a 2001 compromise with separatists, Aceh province in Sumatra island’s north was allowed to implement Sharia law. Since then, religious justice has become increasingly strict. VOA correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh.
Video

Video Some Russian Businesses Thrive in Poor Economy

Capital flight, the fall in oil prices and Western sanctions are pushing Russia's staggering economy into recession. But not companies are suffering. The ruble’s drop in value has benefited exporters as well as businesses targeting increasingly frugal customers. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.

All About America

AppleAndroid