Billionaire Najib Mikati has secured enough votes to get elected as the Prime Minister of Lebanon. It could halt the political stalemate in Lebanon caused after Saad Hariri resigned.
Mikati has promised to implement the French plan, which involves forming a government of specialists to implement significant economic and governmental reforms to attract foreign aid and ease the nation’s monetary situation.
Foreign Aid & Hezbollah
Although Mikati comes without any political leaning, he has got appointed as Prime Minister with Hezbollah’s support. It throws up the first challenge of trust deficit before Mikati, as many nations view Hezbollah with suspicion.
Relations with Israel
With Hezbollah in the kingmaker role, it is bound to dent any peace efforts with Israel, which are necessary for stability and development. It is all the more true after the Beirut Port blast triggered a major economic downfall of Lebanon.
Recently, the International Monetary Fund rejected a $10 billion bailout over concerns about the Lebanese financial sector. The decision delivered a big blow to Lebanon’s economy, which is already struggling to the extent that even money to purchase fuel and run the electrical grid is running out.
Recently, violent protests erupted across Lebanon after the country’s currency, the Lebanese Pound, fell to a new record low.
Common masses face severe financial difficulties due to the economic crisis. With this situation, a few days back, Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Hassan Diab had warned that Lebanon is days away from a “social explosion” and called for help from the international community to avert a catastrophe. The situation is becoming so grave that the ongoing economic crisis is considered to poses the biggest threat to Lebanon’s stability since the 1975-1990 civil war.
Another challenge Najib Mikati faces is to weave together a balanced cabinet and form a stable government amid an intense political divide.
Beirut port blast-triggered economic crisis combined with the Covid pandemic and civil unrest over allegations of corruption has left Lebanon struggling badly. Najib Mikati thus has a difficult task ahead as he plans to revive Lebanon.