The two most prominent names in the binding parliamentary consultations that took place Thursday, December 19 in Baabda’s presidential palace were Diplomat Nawaf Salam and former Minister Hassan Diab. This morning, Lebanese MPs and parliamentary blocs began arriving in Baabda to meet President Michel Aoun and vote for the next Prime Minister of the country.
Before the parliamentary consultations began, caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri was the first politician to arrive in the presidential palace. Notably, PM Hariri exited the palace earlier than he was expected to – only around 7 minutes later – without making any public statements.
Former Prime Minister Najib Mikati was next to reach Baabda. He met the president and later announced that he did not nominate anyone for the position, “in light of a situation such as the current one.” Former PM Tammam Salam soon followed and did not give his vote to anyone either.
Members of the Future bloc were the first to arrive at the presidential palace at around 11:10 AM. After meeting President Aoun they declared that they had voted for no one, and will not be participating in the next government.
Bloc votes for Hassan Diab: The Loyalty to the Resistance bloc announced that the bloc’s votes all went to Hassan Diab. Members of the Strong Lebanon bloc and the National bloc also voted for Diab, and so did the Social Nationalist bloc and the Consultative Meeting bloc. Additionally, the Mount Lebanon Guarantee bloc and the Armenian Members of Parliament voted for Diab.
Bloc votes for Nawaf Salam: Members of the Socialist Party bloc, the Democratic Gathering bloc, and the Kataeb bloc all voted for candidate Nawaf Salam.
In total, 43 Members of Parliament have abstained from voting, and one deputy was denied a vote count due to his unexplained absence from today’s consultations.
Result: Hassan Diab has been appointed to head Lebanon’s next cabinet. He was invited to the presidential palace to meet with President Michel Aoun upon the conclusion of the binding parliamentary consultations.