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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs