Middle East News
Lebanese premier launches consultations to form government
Jan 27, 2011, 10:15 GMT
Beirut - Lebanon's premier designate Najib Mikati started on Thursday his consultations with the various parliamentary blocs to form a new government.
Mikati, 55, a moderate lawmaker with good ties to Syria and Saudi Arabia, was appointed as premier to replace outgoing premier Saad Hariri, after he won the backing of the Hezbollah-led coalition.
Mikati's two-day consultations would focus on seeking a government that include all parties, despite Hariri's Western-backed coalition having openly said that they will not participate in a government backed Hezbollah.
The new premier said if he fails to convince all parties to participate in his cabinet, then he will form a government made of technocrats.
Mikati was nominated to the premiership after Hezbollah and its allies brought down Hariri's government on January 12 amid disagreements over the UN-backed probe into the 2005 assassination of Hariri's father, former premier Rafik Hariri.
Hezbollah fears being implicated by the court's prosecutor, Daniel Bellemare, who has filed confidential draft indictments to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon's pre-trial judge, Daniel Fransen.
Hezbollah has also called on the Lebanese government to boycott the tribunal, which it described as a US-Israeli conspiracy.
Read more about Lebanon Politics