Lebanon Daily News Brief 06/09/2022

Thursday, June 9, 2022




Selection of Prime Minister-Designate Expected Next Week
According to L’Orient Today, “In a tweet, the presidency said Thursday that the parliamentary consultations will take place ‘in the coming days,’ but a source at the Presidential Palace confirmed to L’Orient Today that the consultations will start next week, without specifying which day, with the aim of finding a new prime minister-designate.” [L’Orient Today]

IMF Appoints Special Representative for Lebanon
According to the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) spokesperson, Gerry Rice, an unnamed special representative has been selected to provide technical support and regularly report on the Lebanese government’s progress regarding a potential economic reform program between the multilateral lender and Lebanon. [Reuters]

US Officials: No Assurances of Sanction Exemptions on Overland Energy Deals
Based on a Wednesday Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing focused on Syria, newly confirmed Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf testified that the Biden Administration has not actually put forward its final decision regarding two overland energy deals involving the governments of Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and -indirectly- Syria. The involvement of the latter party has become increasingly controversial in the US Congress, despite the position of the State Department maintaining that exemptions from Caesar Sanctions required by the deals will not equate a normalization of ties with the Assad regime. [Al Monitor]

Jordanian PM Reassures Strong Ties with Lebanon
In a diplomatic visit to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati met with his Jordanian counterpart, Prime Minister Bisher Al Khasawneh, who relayed the Kingdom’s intention of maintaining strong diplomatic ties between the two neighboring countries amid the increasing complications with the pending overland energy deals that would facilitate the export of natural gas (via Egypt) and electricity from Jordan to Lebanon. [The National]



Lebanon Ideas Forum, Wilson Center 
A Conversation On The Road Ahead in Lebanon With MP Samy Gemayel

“The Lebanon Ideas Forum kicks off a series of interviews with key stakeholders in Lebanon, including politicians, economists, and civil society leaders, with Samy Gemayel, President of the Kataeb Party, and recently re-elected Member of Parliament. MEP Director Merissa Khurma spoke with Samy about the challenging road ahead to devise and implement policies necessary to address chronic economic, fiscal, and political crises in Lebanon. Joining this first episode is Nadim Haddad, founding member of the Diaspora Action Round Table (D.A.R.T.). Nadim shared his reaction to the May 2022 parliamentary elections and perspectives as a lifelong social, humanitarian, and economic activist.”

The National
Lebanon’s New Opposition MPs Swim Against Tide Of Established Parties
Nada Homsi
Homsi writes, “Last week, the first parliament session was convened to elect a Speaker of Parliament, Deputy Speaker and parliamentary bureau. It was widely expected that the Change MPs would attempt to establish some leverage by nominating a candidate to run for the post of Deputy Speaker. But no such nomination came. A source close to some of the 13 lawmakers said internal divisions obstructed any potential nomination. He said MP Milhem Khalaf, who rose to fame in 2019 when he defeated establishment parties in the elections to head the Beirut Bar Association, was the top choice among the reformist lawmakers. ‘Had they been able to propose his name and negotiate with other parliamentary groups they would have had a real chance to get him elected,’ said the source, who declined to be named out of concern it would affect his relations with the MPs in question. ‘But some of them were reluctant to negotiate with other blocs [to garner votes], which paralysed the initiative’.”

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the American Task Force on Lebanon, a non-profit, nonpartisan leadership organization of Lebanese-Americans.