| 11 December 2023, Monday |

“Sawt Beirut International” news bulletin for Wednesday, January 5, 2022

In today’s news bulletin:

  • Will the general budget be a key to breaking the government’s stalemate?
  • A skyrocketing increase in electricity bills… How much will it costs?
  • Why do the Lebanese flock to acquire weapons?

Is there a new upcoming settlement between the pillars of the ruling gang? What happened today in Baabda Palace apparently shows that. Najib Mikati’s surprise visit to the presidential palace and the statement he made after the visit confirmed that there was something prepared in secret, aimed at restoring the spirit to the two main political institutions in the country: the Council of Ministers and the Parliament.

Apparently, the settlement formula is based on the following: The President of the Republic signed the opening of an extraordinary session of the House of Representatives in exchange for Najib Mikati’s invitation to the Council of Ministers to convene in order to keep pace with the completion of the general budget. Does this mean that the constitutional institutions will resume work normally after removing the tension between Presidents Aoun and Berri? This is what appears to have happened.

In essence, the situation is different. If the signature of the President of the Republic is guaranteed to open an extraordinary session, then what guarantees that Mikati will really call for a cabinet, as long as the Shiite duo maintains their negative positions, and as long as he stipulates Qabat al-Bitar before holding any government meeting?

There are those who assert in this context that Hezbollah cannot accept holding a cabinet session, especially after Mikati responded to Hassan Nasrallah’s words about Saudi Arabia. Does this mean that the proposed settlement is just a stew with peas? It’s the likely scenario. Half of the settlement will be implemented, i.e. the opening of an exceptional invitation, while the government will not meet. To those who are surprised, we say: Do not be surprised, because most of what Najib Mikati says is not implemented. It is true that he is constitutionally a prime minister, but in practice, under the Shiite duo, he is just a suspended prime minister.

  • Sawt Beirut International