The least that can be said about the consultations that Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati is conducting today and tomorrow with the parliamentary blocs to elicit their opinion on its formation, is that it remains within the framework of raising the blame, not only because it is not binding on him, but also because the horizons are still blocked in front of the possibility of understanding about the formation of A full-fledged government blocks the way to extend the caretaker government. In addition, Mikati’s relationship with the head of the “Free Patriotic Movement”, Representative Gibran Bassil, has deteriorated further in light of the latter’s announcement that he does not want to participate in the government.
The president-designate will strive to prepare a government formation that he will present to the President of the Republic, Michel Aoun, to get his opinion so that he can build on the required thing, even if he knows in advance that he will object to it, refusing to sign it, unless the upcoming ministerial formation came to meet the conditions of his political heir Basil and come on measure his political ambitions.
Asharq Al-Awsat learned from political sources that keep pace with the current prevailing atmosphere in Mikati that the president-designate is keen to consult with the President of the Republic. A maximum of ten days. Either he agrees to it with minor amendments that do not alter the distribution of ministerial portfolios in a radical way that brings them down and returns the consultations to the zero point, or he rejects them completely, which inevitably leads to the activation of the caretaker government.
On the other hand, prominent parliamentary sources believe that the “great jihad” has begun to form a new government because there is a necessity for an effective government. From electricity and medicine on the one hand, and to alleviate their daily suffering by securing their livelihood in order to keep the situation under control in order to secure the atmosphere required to elect a new President of the Republic within the time limit stipulated in the constitution and not to violate it, lest we plunge the country into a crisis of governance that we need.
Parliamentary sources point to the danger of wasting time in the event that the government was not formed today before tomorrow to complete the agreement with the International Fund, especially since its representative is currently residing for a long time in Lebanon, and we must take advantage of his presence to prepare everything that is required from the government to reach a final agreement with him. It allows us to move into the recovery phase, and we think Parliament is ready to meet the government to get to the safety of negotiating with the IMF.
The same sources confirm that there is a need to resume indirect negotiations between Lebanon and Israel on the demarcation of the maritime borders, mediated by the United States and under the auspices of the United Nations, and say that Lebanon is waiting for the American mediator, Amos Hogstein, to bring him the final answer in the next two days in response to the answer that the Lebanese side gave him.
Therefore, the alternatives presented in the event of failure to reach an understanding about the formation of a new government are not in place, and will not be presented or delayed as long as they range from floating the caretaker government to renewing Parliament’s confidence in it or replacing ministers by others, provided that the current approved distribution of ministerial portfolios among sects is adhered to.
Accompanying political sources say that the government is considered resigned as soon as a new parliament is elected, and it cannot be constitutionally floated because its resignation was not due to the resignation of its president, and therefore such an unprecedented step is considered an attempt to escape forward.
In response to a question, the sources clarified that the role of the international community, particularly the French, remains within the framework of urging the political parties concerned with forming the government to speed up its formation, and it cannot represent them because it distances itself from overt interference in internal affairs, and that it has no means of pressure other than giving advice to those who They are concerned with the necessity of helping themselves as a condition for the initiative of the Friends of Lebanon to provide the required assistance.
The same sources reveal that what matters to the international community is maintaining stability in Lebanon, and says that the Lebanese government knows very well what is required of it internationally, specifically with regard to its commitment to reforms, without which Lebanon cannot translate the declaration of intent it reached with the IMF into executive steps. And she warns against reluctance to respond to the book of conditions that he set, because without it, the declaration of intentions remains ink on paper.
The sources quoted senior French officials involved in the Lebanese file that the presidential elections will take place on time, and that there is no justification for postponing them or deporting them indefinitely, and they call not to bet on the inability to achieve the presidential elections because those who bet from now on that will discover that their bet is not in place on He disputed his bet in the past and that the parliamentary elections will be postponed, and that the country is going to one vacuum after another.
She points out that the countries concerned with Lebanon’s stability, led by France, will not tolerate anyone who obstructs the holding of the presidential elections on time, and warns that those who hinder it will have dire consequences, the least of which is exposing him to sanctions that go beyond European countries to the international community.
Accordingly, Mikati prepares, as soon as he finishes the non-binding parliamentary consultations, to engage in the “greater jihad” that is required of him to form the government, to explore the extent of the political forces’ readiness, whether his character is to assume the prime ministership or not, to engage without impossible conditions in the government formation process, otherwise the alternative will be for him to engage in a battle. The lesser jihad by activating the caretaker government, especially since he had previously hinted at the possibility of inviting the Council of Ministers to convene if necessary, considering at the same time that the caretaker government is still fully described.
In this context, it is reported that Paris does not mind activating the caretaker government if Mikati encounters obstacles that prevent the formation of a new government on the condition that it be protected by the main forces supporting it.
The question remains: Will Mikati resort to using his last cartridge to activate the caretaker government if it is impossible for him to form a new government? And what is Aoun’s position on it? Does he provide political cover for it, or does he initiate resistance to it in response to Basil’s desire? So how will the elected parliament act? Who of the parliamentary blocs agrees to keep the old one on its feet? What will he say to the Lebanese public opinion? And where does he stand in regard to the reconsideration of the necessity legislation that the Parliament was forced into by the presence of a caretaker government at the time headed by Hassan Diab?
Therefore, Mikati stands before a difficult and unenviable task, although he does not lose sight of the possibility of activating the caretaker government, considering that this step remains less costly than forming a government that swings between a group that insists on being political and another that is not political, but of another model that it does not control. Hezbollah,” while the demand for a national unity government has become a thing of the past that combines opposites under one roof and suffers from the evils of disruption that afflicted all unifying governments!