Lebanese PM Mikati Rejects Claims Accusing Him Of Obstructing The Government Formation

Washington Report On Middle East Affairs

Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati described his relationship with President Michel Aoun as “good.”

In an interview with Al-Entichar, he denied rumors spread by some of those surrounding Aoun about his unwillingness to form a government, notably Gebran Bassil in his latest interview.

He stressed that if that was the case, he “would not have presented a formation immediately after completing the non-binding parliamentary consultations, and this formation, contrary to what is claimed, is subject to discussion.”

Mikati indicated that he disregarded the leak of the formation and the Baabda’s failure to respond after that to a request for a meeting date.

Even though, he went to meet with President Aoun, who approached him with a request to expand the government to thirty ministers, a proposal Mikati was not enthusiastic about on the grounds that it would open a “problem” in the issue of naming and selection.

Accordingly, the discussion returned to making an amendment in two names in the current government.

Mikati explained that he “did not object to President Aoun naming the two alternatives as part of his share in the cabinet formation.” He pointed out that he needs “to obtain the support of Akkar’s Sunni deputies and the head of the Progressive Socialist Party Walid Jumblatt, for the government to gain the required confidence.”

Related: Here’s What Will Happen If Lebanon’s Caretaker Government Took Over The Presidency Powers.