PM-designate Najib Mikati visited outgoing Prime Minister Saad Hariri at his downtown Beirut residence on Wednesday.
According to a statement issued by Hariri’s office, the meeting was part of the traditional protocol .
The protocol dictates that PM-designate should meet and consult with former prime ministers prior to forming the cabinet .
Mikati later visited former prime ministers , Fouad Siniora, Rashid el Solh, Omar Karami and Michel Aoun as part of the protocol
Mikati, backed by Hezbollah and its March 8 allies , was appointed Tuesday by president Michel Suleiman as PM-designate to form and head the next cabinet , giving Hezbollah and its allies increased leverage in the country and provoking widespread protests.
“Whoever killed Rafik Hariri in 2005 doesn’t want Saad Hariri to be in power,” Hariri said Wednesday during an interview with the New York Times, in reference to Hezbollah which is backed by Iran and Syria.
“What’s happening today is that they are trying to achieve what they wanted to achieve in 2005,” Hariri added
Mikati did confirm yesterday that he was nominated to protect Hezbollah. He told AFP on Tuesday : “My nomination by Hezbollah does not make me committed to any political stance other than protecting the Resistance.” This was a possible reference to Hezbollah’s five point plan.
Hezbollah brought down Hariri’s government on January 12 over the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s ( STL) indictment which is widely expected to implicate Hezbollah members in the assassination of former PM Rafik Hariri in 2005 .
According to analysts the issue in Lebanon is not who is Mikati as much as how did Mikati get nominated and by whom