Lebanese Sunni Muslim leaders endorse ex-PM Najib Mikati as choice to form new government

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Lebanese former prime ministers meet in Beirut
Lebanese former prime ministers, Saad al-Hariri, Najib Mikati, Fouad Siniora and Tammam Salam meet in Beirut, Lebanon July 25, 2021. Dalati Nohra/Handout via REUTERS

July 25, 2021

BEIRUT/AMMAN (Reuters) – A club of former Lebanese prime ministers said on Sunday they endorsed the choice of another former premier, Najib Mekati, to form a new government in yet another attempt to bring Lebanon’s political deadlock to an end.

Among Mikati’s endorsers was veteran politician Saad al-Hariri, who abandoned his effort to form a new government last week after nearly 10 months of failing to agree its makeup with President Michel Aoun.

Aoun is due to meet parliamentary blocs on Monday for consultations on nominating a new prime minister.

Lebanon has been run by a caretaker administration for nearly a year, while its currency has collapsed, jobs have vanished and banks have frozen accounts. The economic freefall is Lebanon’s worst crisis since the 1975-90 civil war.

In Lebanon’s political system, the post has to be held by a Sunni Muslim, while the presidency is held by a Maronite Christian.

(Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi and Laila Bassam; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)