Lebanon cabinet expected as snap meeting called

AFP , Friday 10 Sep 2021

The Lebanon 24 news website owned by Mikati said he was adamant a new government would be announced shortly afterwards but the summer was marked by a series of false hopes and botched deals

Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati. AFP
Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati. AFP

Lebanon's prime minister-designate, Najib Mikati, was expected at the presidential palace Friday for a meeting that could yield a much-delayed cabinet lineup, the presidency said.

Mikati was due to meet President Michel Aoun at 1:30 pm (1030 GMT), a top presidency official told AFP.

The Lebanon 24 news website owned by Mikati said he was adamant a new government would be announced shortly afterwards but the summer was marked by a series of false hopes and botched deals.

Mikati, who has been prime minister twice before and is the country's richest man, was designated on July 26 to form a government after his two predecessors threw in the towel.

Lebanon has been run by a caretaker government since August 10, 2020 when the current premier Hassan Diab and his cabinet resigned en masse following a deadly explosion at Beirut port.

Lebanon can no longer provide mains electricity to its citizens for more than a few hours a day, nor can it afford to buy the fuel needed to power generators.

Very few of the international community's demands for a broad programme of reforms have yet been met, hampering the disbursement of foreign assistance.

Further stalling the bankrupt state's recapitalisation has been the government's failure to engage the International Monetary Fund and discuss a fully-fledged rescue plan.

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