Who Is Najib Mikati, Lebanon’s Returning Prime Minister


In July, Najib Mikati was appointed as Prime Minister-designate to head the next Lebanese government. On Friday, Mikati formed Lebanon’s first government in over a year, becoming the country’s 23rd Prime Minister. Here’s what you need to know about him.

Najib Mikati has been one of Lebanon’s most prominent public figures for more than a decade.

Also a businessman, he sits on an estimated net worth of around $2.8 billion, which makes him the richest man in Lebanon and one of the wealthiest people in the Middle East.

His political career began when he was appointed as Minister of Public Works in 1998, nearly two years before he was elected as an MP in 2000.

He went on to serve as Public Works Minister two consecutive governments after that.

Then, in 2005, he was appointed as Prime Minister, an office he would hold again in 2011 until 2014, including nearly a year in the caretaker capacity, and in 2021 (incumbent).

He was also elected as MP for his home city of Tripoli in 2009 and in the most recent parliamentary elections in 2018.

Businesswise, Mikati is the cofounder, alongside his brother Taha, of M1 Group, a massive investment firm that has stakes in South Africa’s telecom firm MTN, global fashion retailers, and real estate in New York, Monaco, London, and other cities.

A 2019 U.N. report revealed that M1 Group had business interests with the military of Myanmar, which caused the company to be blacklisted by the London-based NGO Burma Campaign UK.

Earlier this year, the company bought Myanmar’s Telenor Group mobile operator, a few months after the country witnessed a coup that was followed by a military crackdown on the telecom sector.

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