| 29 November 2022, Tuesday |

Mikati appointed president and Salam falls due to absence of opposition’s unity

Once again, the opponents and the so-called changers fail to be unified, and fall one test after another.
The matter was resolved, and President Najib Mikati became the new president-designate to form the last government under President Michel Aoun, with a number of votes that might exceed sixty.
As for Judge Nawaf Salam, he will not be able to provide a sufficient number of representatives to enable him to compete.
The most prominent factors that brought down Salam’s chances, are the position of the Sunni representatives, especially the ten representatives, including the representatives of the north, the representative of Zahle and the representative of Beirut, who are known to be close to Prime Minister Saad Hariri. Salam was also rejected, by MPs Ashraf Rifi and Fouad Makhzoumi. Their position on the consultations led to the postponement of the announcement of the bloc that will bring them together with MPs Michel Moawad and Adib Abdel Masih, who will name Salam until after the consultations end. Even within the assembly of the 13 MPs, opinions were divided between 5 deputies who will name Salam. They are Mark Daou, Najat Saliba, Waddah Al-Sadiq, Rami Feng and Michel Douaihy, while Halima Qaaqour Ibrahim Mneimneh Melhem Khalaf Cynthia Zarazir and Firas Hamdan, will not name anyone, while it was known that Paula Yacoubian linked her naming Salam to a consensus about him among the changers. Even MP Nemat frem and MP Jamil Abboud,in his bloc, and with the pretext of the absence of a unified position, may name Mikati, not Salam. Moreover there was the position of the Lebanese Forces, which raised the “No” in the face of Mikati and Salam together, due to the lack of specifications set by the Forces in the Prime Minister, knowing that the Forces’ naming of Salam, could have changed the position of some independent and new representatives, but it would not have changed the difference in votes between Salam and Mikati in favor of the latter, who would have obtained 45 or 48 votes, if the representatives who announced their willingness to name him, did that. The Lebanese Forces, which had previously voted for Salam in the previous consultations when Saad Hariri was appointed, its leader justified the situation for the lack of unity among the opposition, and also for their lack of knowledge of Judge Salam, who is always absent from Lebanon, not to mention that they did not perceive the extent of his seriousness in preparing to take responsibility, and that the communication that took place with him last time was not encouraging. The position of the Lebanese Forces will undoubtedly make it difficult for the head of the Free Patriotic Movement to try to bargain with Mikati, as he is no longer able to play the role of the Christian “weight-bearing egg’ that is required, knowing that the Strong Lebanon bloc was heading not to name anyone in an implicit message to give Mikati a new opportunity.