| 26 February 2024, Monday |

Sawt Beirut International’s News Bulletin – Sunday, Aug. 22, 2021

A brief of tonight’s news bulletin:

– The government formation is not clear… Is Mikati heading towards formation or an apology?
– Fuel prices are on fire and humiliation queues remain… Will the subsidy be lifted permanently in September?
– In documents: Iranian medicines precede oil and invade Lebanese markets.

President-designate Najib Mikati in a race between authorship and apology. Tomorrow the assignment begins its fourth week, which is the last, according to the deadline set by the president-designate for himself. It is remarkable that Mikati is still insisting that the coming week be decisive for the formation of  government, as he does not want to repeat the experience of Saad Hariri, and waste nine months of the country’s life for nothing. This is in the time limit. As for the content, it does not appear that Mikati has succeeded, at least so far, in moving Michel Aoun and the Free Patriotic Movement from its basic demand: obtaining the guarantor or blocking third in any government formed. Hence the secret of the coldness that controlled Mikati’s communications in the last stage. The man who used to visit Baabda Palace every day or two at most, reduced his visits, after discovering that the visits did not succeed in removing the main obstacle from his path, and that Aoun would not give him more than what Mustafa Adib or even Saad Hariri gave.

In short: The President of the Republic is fighting the battle to form a government as it is the last battle of the covenant, and his goal is clear: to prepare the way for his son-in-law, deputy Gibran Bassil, to take his place. He is therefore adopting two plans: either to bring a government in which a third will guarantee him and his son-in-law, or to pave the way for a long and harsh vacuum that may mix the papers and allow Basil to reach Baabda. On the other hand, Mikati does not have the appropriate tools to confront Aoun’s plan. he’s trapped between two fires: the fire of covenant team, and the fire of former prime ministers’ team. Therefore, in the middle of the past week, he was on the verge of an apology, had it not been for strong French pressure.

But retracting the apology last minute does not hide his strong dissatisfaction with what is happening, especially since Aoun deliberately embarrassed him by sending the Director General of the Republican Palace to negotiate with him, which many considered a blow to the position of prime minister. What will happen next week? Will Mikati apologize or make up? In principle, his thirteenth visit to the presidential palace will be decisive. Will the ominous number 13 affect the government formation, or will Miqati’s breath be even stronger than the number 13?

  • Sawt Beirut International