On August 31, 2020, Mustapha ADIB Lebanon’s ambassador to Germany was nominated by former Lebanese Premier Saad HARIRI to formal consultations to be the next prime minister.
HARIRI said after a meeting with President Michel AOUN, the new government should be formed quickly and made up of specialist ministers. Its aims must include the reconstruction of Beirut after the devastating port explosion.
Najib MIKATI, the former Prime Minister was the first MP to formally nominate ADIB in the consultations at the Baabda presidential palace.
Hassan DIAB, the former PM had the support of just a handful of parliament’s 27 Sunni MPs in addition to little popular support. His six-month government, which resigned in the wake of the August 4 explosion, is widely seen as having failed to make headway on vital economic and political reforms demanded by massive protests that led to HARIRI’s resignation last year as prime minister.
President Michel AOUN will have consultations with MPs to go through the formal motions of picking the next prime minister, who must then form a government, a process which in the past has taken many months.
The consultations will start with three of the four former prime ministers and Hariri’s Future Movement bloc, all of whom are set to nominate ADIB, Lebanon’s ambassador to Germany until 2013.
The Shiite Hezbollah and Amal will name ADIB as PM during Monday (August 31)’s consultations, a source said. The Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), a political ally of Hezbollah which was founded by AOUN and is led today by his son-in-law Gebran BASSIL, will do the same, BASSIL told Reuters.
ADIB’s designation comes after the second visit of the French president Macron to Lebanon in under a month.
Lebanon analyst Karim MAKDISI wrote on twitter: “A gift for Macron, got to love it”.
MACRON had proposed Lebanese leaders come to a new political understanding and warned failure to change could lead to deep unrest.
Lebanon’s currency has lost as much as 80 % of its value since October and savers have been locked out their savings. Poverty and unemployment have soared.
ADIB’s government will have to resume stalled negotiations with the International Monetary Fund for a $10bn program, a key demand of international donors, and push through reforms to the electricity and the financial sectors that have previously been bogged down by disagreements between Lebanon’s sectarian leaders.
DIAB had failed to make headway on this process because of high-level disagreements. Few in Lebanon are inclined to believe ADIB’s government will be much different, and some were quick in making parallels between him and DIAB.
ADIB is an academic and is not well known among the public, has a Ph.D. in law and political science, and has taught at the state-funded Lebanese University since 2010. He served as an adviser to former Prime Minister Najib MIKATI since 2000.
“This is another attempt to beautify the system with a new face that very few people know and project the image that something is going to change,” said Sami ATALLAH, the director of the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies, to Al Jazeera.
“I doubt anything will because we’ll see how this government will be formed with representatives of different political parties, just like Diab” he added.
This article was edited using the data from the Aljazeera.com, English.aawsat.com, Thenational.ae, Postofasia.com, and Reuters.com.