| 24 April 2024, Wednesday |

President Aoun completes first round of binding parliamentary consultations

President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, debuted binding parliamentary consultations for naming a PM-Designate to form the new government, today at 10:30am.

Consultations started with former Premier, Najib Mikati, who said while leaving “The Independent Central Bloc will express its position, after meeting President”.

PM Hariri:

President Aoun met Prime Minister, Saad Hariri.

After the meeting Hariri said: “God willing, PM Mikati will be named today. I have informed His Excellency, the President, of my nomination. Today, Lebanon has the opportunity. As you can see, the US Dollar rate has begun to decline, and this is what is important. PM Mikati will be nominated and the government will be formed as soon as possible. We shouldn’t stop before small issues, while the country is in need of a government”.

PM Salam:

The President received PM, Tammam Salam.

PM Salam said: “God willing, we will witness a stage in which there will be a way out of the difficult situation which we have reached, especially on correct constitutional rules so that we can witness today the nomination, and formation afterwards, in order to limit the collapse which we have reached, in light of the French initiative and Speaker Berri’s initiative, in addition to everyone’s cooperation. We wish that PM Mikati rises with a government of specialists, away from all political forces to address and find urgent solutions to our stressful financial conditions, which are reflected through everything.

May God grant him success. Today, I was one of those named PM Mikati after agreement with former Prime Ministers”.

Question: Will PM Mikati be given what wasn’t granted to PM Hariri?

Answer: “Everything has its own circumstances and conditions. The circumstances that prevailed in the previous months are different from what istoday. I think that everyone should have become aware that the disruption, delay and obstruction that occurred during that period led the country to a very difficult place. Today is a new opportunity. God bless President Mikati”.

Question: Does Prime Minister Mikati have the same conditions as Prime Minister Hariri?

Answer: “There are broad and general lines that everyone is keen on, and I mentioned them. I said that we adhere to the constitution and all constitutional procedures, and our statement yesterday was clear in this context. I think that President Mikati will be keen to follow up on this occasion with all its requirements”.

Question: You are a PM candidate, why did you refuse this mission?

Answer: “I have taken my position a year and a half ago on this matter, and I have stated it clearly”.

Question: Is it possible to repeat this position?

Answer: “Now we all want to be in a positive and constructive atmosphere”.

Vice-Speaker Ferzli:

President Aoun met Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Elie Ferzli.

MP Ferzli said: “Of course, in addition to the personal balance of PM Najib Mikati as a former Prime Minister, as a representative of the city of Tripoli, and as the head of a parliamentary bloc, PM Hariri nominated him. This added another element that made him a representative of the component to which he belongs a fundamental matter to complete the national umbrella that shades any potential government.

That is why we did not name Prime Minister Najib Mikati in 2011 when I refused the resignations from the government, while Prime Minister Saad Hariri was present and I had no relationship with him, and I said no to naming Prime Minister Mikati at the time, but to stick to Prime Minister Hariri, as a result of the saying that we have always adopted, which states that a President, any President, must be a representative of the component to which he belongs. And today, the elements of Najib Mikati’s representation of the component to which he belongs were available”.

“Future Movement” bloc:

President Aoun received the Future Movement bloc.

After the meeting, MP Samir Al-Jisr said: “We, as a bloc, informed His Excellency the President of the Republic of naming Premier Najib Mikati to form the future government. We wish him success. And God help him and Lebanon”.

Question: What has changed between 2011 and now to name PM Mikati?

Answer: “The interest of the country. Politics is a dynamic and not a static state, and the circumstances in which the matter took place at the time may be completely different from what they are today”.

Question: Why did you say God help PM Mikati?

Answer: “Because assuming responsibility today is very difficult”.

“Loyalty to the Resistance” Bloc:

President Aoun received the “Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc”.

MP Mohamed Raad said: “For a year, specifically since the resignation of the government of Prime Minister Hassan Diab on August 10, 2020, the Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc believes that a government must be formed in the country, because it is an obligatory crossing and the necessary entry point for dealing with crises, facilitating the affairs of citizens and maintaining security and public order. Our bloc has always sought, strived, facilitated, appealed, urged and instigated in order to accomplish this important step. We have always dealt positively with the various efforts made in this context. And today, with the emergence of indicators that hint at the possibility of forming a government, we don’t know, whether or not, it is very natural for the bloc to support, encourage, and enhance this possibility.

Hence, our naming for PM Najib Mikati as the designated Prime Minister came today to reflect the seriousness of our commitment to the priority of forming a government, and let us also give an additional dose to facilitate the task of formation”.

“National” Bloc:

President Aoun met with the “National Bloc”.

MP Tony Frangieh said on behalf of the bloc: “We named PM Najib Mikati to take over the task, which we hope will be facilitated. We have asked His Excellency the President to facilitate the formation of the government, because people adhere to the smallest salvation plan, and we sawyesterday how the Lebanese Lira exchange rate improved. God willing, the matter will continue in this direction, to form a government capable of reducing the citizens’ pain.

MP Farid al-Khazen is not with us for specialreasons. He authorized us to name, and we named PM Mikati after him, as well as in the name of MP Mustafa al-Husseini”.

“Progressive Socialist Party” Bloc:

The President met with the “Progressive Socialist Party” bloc.

MP Taymour Joumblat said: “The Democratic Gathering bloc named Najib Mikati to head the government, hoping that all political parties will provide the necessary facilities to form an economic and social rescue government as soon as possible, because the country couldn’t withstand anymore and we can’t wait for another year”.

“Independent Central” Bloc:

President Aoun received the “Independent Center” bloc.

After the meeting, MP Nicolas Nahass said: “We were honored to meet His Excellency, and we named the head of our bloc, PM Najib Mikati. We also wished His Excellency to open the door to all what is possible. Just as there are today indications of a positive market response, the country needs the possible. Today we have entered the stage of the possible in which we see the light, and we must all converge for the task that we hope to be entrusted with. We quickly enter the stage of consultations with the blocs, to come up with foundations that will boost what we see today in relation to the US Dollar rate and hope.

In response to a question about the possibility of reaching a government before the Virgin Mary’s Day, he answered: “This feast is blessed. The 4th of August is a deadline, and God willing, the matter will happen before that, because time no longer permits”.

In response to another question he added “In 2011, when PM Mikati formed the government, many people were against it. In the end everyone became with it. Let us wait and be positive and ask everyone to cooperate. If some blocs did not name him, this does not mean that they are against him. They want to see how the government will be formed. The indicator is the possibility of solutions. When people see the possibility of solutions, they deal in a different way than they do when the horizon is closed, and the market says that there is a horizon that has begun to open”.

“National Social” Bloc:

The President met the “National Social” bloc.

“The meeting with His Excellency the President was within the framework of binding consultations during which a Prime Minister must be named. We want to say before public opinion that our criterion in this matter is a single criterion whose title is that there is vacancy in the state and institutions. For us, vacancy in institutions is the death and fall of the state. In the face of the chaos that we have seen part of in this period that we have gone through and we still are. Therefore, our criterion is always the absence of vacancy in the institutions, and from here we see the need for a quick government, which is the executive authority in the country that is supposed to deal with all the issues of people who daily speak on the media, about their pain and what is important, and we say with people that this matter should not continue in this way, whether it is in queues for diesel, gasoline, bread, medicine, or all the necessities of life that people need.

This matter is linked to the formation of the government, which is supposed to be concerned with this matter. Therefore, if we want to keep the situation smooth and in a state of chaos, and monopoly, then we do not want a government. We want a government that assumes its responsibilities and deals with the issues of the people who have sufficed with pain, emigration and despair from the state. There is despair in the state and the loss of confidence in it, and this matter is supposed to be reconsidered so that we can get out of this tunnel. Because we are convinced of this option, we named Premier Mikati as Prime Minister.

In response to a question, MP Hardan said: “I am the head of the bloc and the bloc is entrusted with the name. It was named in front the President of the Republic. We are the party and we have our opinion”.

“Consultative Gathering” Bloc:

President Aoun concluded the first round of parliamentary consultations, meeting the “Consultative Gathering” bloc.

Soukarieh said: “On behalf of the Consultative Gathering bloc our initial candidate was Faisal Karami, but in front of the country’s need for a government, which we hope to save the country and emerge this bad situation it is going through, we decided to extend a hand and show good intentions to cooperate to try to save what can be saved.

Two MPs of our bloc, Abdul Rahim Murad and Dr. Adnan Traboulsi, decided to name PremierMikati, whereas Faisal Karami and I did not name anyone. A goodwill gesture and extending a hand for cooperation, hoping that a real rescue government will be formed that can rescue the country. We extend a hand to all cooperation in light of the formation of the government and its program of work”.

In response to a question, Soukarieh stated: “There are divergent views on economic policy, at least for me, and when Prime Minister Hariri was nominated, we interviewed them and told them that we are ready to nominate Prime Minister Hariri, but set us your economic policy in order to be cooperative and aware. When we did not reach an understanding, we did not name Prime Minister Hariri. Now, we have decided to show goodwill to cooperate and reserve our right to dissent if we find that we do not agree with the economic policy”.

  • NNA