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New PM for Lebanon: Nijab Mikati

July 26, 2021

The Sunni telecoms tycoon secured enough votes from lawmakers to become Lebanon's prime minister. France and the US have expressed support for the move.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun (left) and newly elected Prime Minister Najib Mikati sat in a white room. There is a Lebanese flag, a simple desk, a rug, two small tables and a painting of a tree in the style of the Lebanese flag behind them. The two men are looking at each other.
Najib Mikati, right, met President Michel Aoun at the presidential palace in Baabda, east of BeirutImage: Dalati Nohra/Lebanese Official Government/AP Photo/picture alliance

Lebanese telecoms tycoon and former prime minister, Najib Mikati, was chosen by lawmakers Monday to serve as Lebanon's new prime minister as the nation reels from multiple political-economic crises.

The Harvard-educated Mikati secured sufficient votes from members of parliament. He is endorsed by most of Lebanon's political parties including the Iran-backed militant group Hezbollah, but he faces opposition from the party of President Michel Aoun, a Maronite Christian.

Mikati previously served as prime minister in a caretaker capacity for three months in 2005 following the car bomb assassination of Rafik Hariri and again in 2011 and from 2013 to 2014. He has also served as minister of public works and transport in three different cabinets between 1998 and 2004.

He is a Sunni Muslim from the northern city of Tripoli.

The businessman owns the M1 Group, along with his brother Taha. The investment holding group owns shares in companies in various industries around the world, including South African telecom and French fashion companies.

According to Forbes, he has a net worth of $2.7 billion (€2.3 billion).

Lebanon's fuel crisis

ar/aw (AP, Reuters)