| 23 February 2024, Friday |

Mikati’s visit to Baabda… A new settlement, in another form?!

As soon asn President Najib Mikati announced about his call for a cabinet session, when receiving the budget within the the next two days, during his first visit to Baabda this new year, where he and President Aoun agreed on signing a decree for opening an exceptional Parliamentsry session to approve the draft budget, the signatures start flowing on many matters, including the 16 laws approved by the House of Representatives in its last session, from which the head of the “Free Patriotic Movement” started threatening to challenge the amendments made to the electoral law.

During the visit, President Mikati contacted Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri to inform him of what was agreed upon, especially in terms of approving the exceptional session, in which the president’s failure to sign, was faced by a petition signed by approximately 62 deputies that threatened to prevent him from signing, but approval of this item, and according to what a source has told “Sawt Beirut International”, is not directly related to this step, but rather an attempt by Mikati to mature a “settlement” that reproduces what is indicated by the Prime Minister’s words about his non-interference with the judiciary, but that ministers and parliamentarians can be tried before their own Supreme Council just as the “military” are tried before the court, but quietly, and on a slow fire, that begins with the holding of the special session, in which it extends the process of restricting the investigation of the judicial investigator Tariq Bitar, and in return, other settlements will take place in files related to appointments and the decree promoting officers of the 1994 session and forest wardens, and other appointments that may appear soon. And thus, the “Free Patriotic Movement” will be obtaining the cards that would form a “lever” for it in the upcoming parliamentary elections on the one hand, thus satisfying its main ally who knows for sure that his relationship and close alliance with President Nabih Berri will not bargain for it in return for his alliance with “the movement” and this is what Basil expressed in his last press conference.
The source adds that perhaps the Secretary-General of “Hezbollah” Hassan Nasrallah’s ignoring of what was mentioned in Basil’s words and his contentment with emphasizing the importance of dialogue and “Hezbollah” keenness on allies and friends, and its adherence to the “Mar Mikhael Agreement” is the clear evidence that things will proceed with the logic of giving Bassil consolation prizes, so that he could face the elections -that he was betting on canceling- through the appeal submitted by his bloc.

The source concluded that the efforts that began to appear on the scene through the visit of Major General Abbas Ibrahim to Ain al-Tineh, may restore the momentum to the role of the Director General of Public Security to revive his mediating duties. So, will we witness shuttle tours, that might extinguish the fire that Basil has lit, at the beginning of the new year?