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Incumbent premier renamed to form govt in crisis-hit Lebanon

Incumbent premier renamed to form govt in crisis-hit Lebanon

dpa
Beirut
Lebanese President Michel Aoun on Thursday tasked caretaker prime minister Najib Mikati with forming a new government in the country roiled by a severe economic crisis.
Following consultations with the various parliamentary blocs, Aoun summoned Mikati and entrusted him with the job, the presidency said, according to the state news agency NNA.
Mikati, a Sunni Muslim billionaire, received 54 votes during the parliamentary consultations, beating out all other potential candidates.
He has already formed a government three times before, most recently in September last year.
Lebanon, suffering its worst economic crisis in decades, held legislative elections in May in which the pro-Iranian Hezbollah movement and its allies lost their majority in the parliament.
Under the Lebanese constitution, the president has to consult with different blocs in parliament before calling on the premier to form a new government.
In the past, the formation of a government has often dragged on for months because of power-wrangling among political rivals.
Lebanon’s president should be a Christian Maronite, the prime minister a Sunni Muslim and the parliamentary speaker a Shiite Muslim, according to an unwritten pact that dates back to 1943.