Mikati: Govt to assume presidential power in the event of presidential ‘vacancy’

File photo: Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati said on August 2 that he had hoped for a quicker pace towards the formation of a new government and warned that his efforts would not be open-ended. August is behind us and so far no white smoke expected anytime soon

Caretaker PM and PM-designate Najib Mikati stressed Monday that the constitution allows the caretaker cabinet to assume presidential powers in the event of a presidential void.

“There is nothing called presidential vacuum but rather vacancy, and the constitution is clear in this regard. This government would assume the president’s powers in the event of any presidential vacancy,” Mikati added, following talks at his Beirut residence with Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt.

He added thay “all the constitutional opinions and consultations that have so far been issued have emphasized that the constitution stipulates that the powers would be transferred to the government, without specifying if it’s a caretaker government or not.”

“The constitution is truly against vacuum and all initiatives in the presidential file are good,” Mikati said.

He urged the parliamentary blocs to head to the parliament to elect a president, stressing that the presidential vote must take place on time.

Mikati’s comment came after Aoun’s son in-law Gebran Bassil said that his Free Patriotic Movement will consider Mikati’s government as resigned and void if there will be presidential vacuum stressing that a caretaker government cannot assume presidential power .

Mikati has so far been unable to form a cabinet ever since he succeeded in being appointed as the PM designate . President Aoun has reportedly been obstructing the formation of any cabinet by making impossible demands with the aim of having Bassil replace him when his term expires.

According to political analysts that Ya Libnan spoke to , Bassil is the most despised politician in Lebanon and his chances of ever making it to Baabda Palace as president are nil . The analysts blamed Bassil for Aoun’s complete failure as president and also blame Aoun for not listening to his advisers about Bassil