Is Mikati on his way out?


Najib MikatiAccording to An Nahar newspaper sources Lebanon PM-designate Najib Mikati, presented on Tuesday to President Suleiman the lineup of the 24 minister cabinet as follows:

Muslim Sunnis ( 5 portfolios ): Mikati, Mohammad Safadi, Walid Daouk, Aladdin Terru another Sunni , but not Faisal Karami, on whom “Hezbollah” is insisting .

Christian Maronites (5): Gibran Bassil, Ziad Baroud, Chakib Kortbawi , Nazem Khoury, Salim Karam , Michel Klassy

Muslim Shiites (5): Yassin Jaber, Mohammed Khalifa, Mahmoud Berri, Mohammed Fneish, Hussein Hajj Hassan, or Trad Hamadeh.

Christian Orthodox (3): Fayez Ghosn, Nicola Nahhas, Marwan Abu Fadel.

Druze (2) : Ghazi Aridi and Wael Abu Faour.

Christian Catholics (2):Nicolas Fattoush, Arlette Juraisati or Maurice Sehnaoui.

Armenians (1) and other minorities (1)

This lineup will not reportedly see the light because the new Hezbollah led majority is questioning Mikati’s motive behind a cabinet of this size and the makeup of the cabinet . This could mean that Mikati could be forced out and replaced by Mohammad Safadi as the PM designate.

There were rumors that caretaker PM Saad Hariri’s trip to Qatar was intended to return him as the prime minister candidate to form the new cabinet , but Hariri reportedly said that his trip had nothing to do with the Lebanese government

Reports also circulated that Hezbollah is unhappy with the names of the Sunni candidates that Mikati presented. Hezbollah reportedly wants to name 2 Sunni cabinet ministers that are very loyal to the “resistance “…. Faisal Karami is one of them

On March 8 Mikati said that he won’t announce a cabinet that doesn’t include at least 10 or 15 ministers that he would be proud of.

“I can wait. I don’t want a one-sided cabinet and I won’t announce a government (lineup) that doesn’t include at least 10 or 15 ministers that I would be proud of,” he told An Nahar.

Based on the above configuration it is obviously one sided cabinet . The question on his mind must be: ” Does it include the 10 or 15 that he can be proud of ?

The Iranian and Syrian -backed Hezbollah brought down PM Saad Hariri’s government on January 12 over the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s (STL) imminent indictment which is widely expected to implicate Hezbollah members in the assassination of former PM Rafik Hariri in 2005

Mikati was appointed in January as the PM designate with the backing of the Hezbollah March 8 alliance and MPs Walid Jumblatt and Mohammad Safadi . March 14 leaders have repeatedly said that intimidation from Hezbollah’s weapons helped secure the parliamentary majority for Mikati’s nomination.

Jumblatt and his PSP parliament members reportedly switched allegiance to Hezbollah’s PM candidate, following threats by Hezbollah.

Jumblatt, Mikati and Safadi were all elected on March 14 electoral tickets during the 2009 parliamentary elections.

Hezbollah is now claiming the parliament majority . According to observers , up until now Hezbollah has been hiding behind FPM leader Michel Aoun in creating obstacles for Mikati , but now it its openly criticizing Mikati, signaling that he may be on his way out.

Hezbollah according to well informed observers never wanted Mikati …it wanted someone it can completely control like former PM Omar Karami , the decision to name Mikati was reportedly made in Syria in consultations with Qatar . Hezbollah along with all the others in its camp were instructed by Syria to back Mikati.