Lebanon Daily News Brief 7/28/2021

Thursday, July 29, 2021


PM-Designate Miqati Submits Cabinet Line-Up
Today Prime Minister-designate held talks with President Michel Aoun and submitted his cabinet line-up to form a new government. [Naharnet] One sources said that the line-up includes a list of 24 ministers that would form a “techno-political” government including 18 technocrats and six political ministers. [Naharnet]

Wildfire Breaks Out in Northern Lebanon
A wildfire broke out in northern Lebanon today and took the life of a 15-year old when it reached nearby residencies in the Akkar province. The fire spread over four miles in the mountainous region while firefighters and the military worked to put it out. [AP]

Forensic Audit of the Central Bank to Begin Soon
Reports say that Alvarez & Marsal will begin an extensive forensic audit of all of Banque Du Liban’s accounts in the next few days. The audit is required to receive financial assistance from the international community, notably from the IMF. The consultancy has reportedly received all the required documents and data that the central bank had previously withheld. [The 961]


The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
A Mikati Government Will Not Save Lebanon
Hanin Ghaddar

Ghaddar writes: “On July 26, ten days after the resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri, former premier Najib Mikati was chosen to form a new government in Lebanon. Claiming he enjoys international support from the United States, France, Saudi Arabia, and other countries, Mikati pledged that he will name a cabinet as soon as possible. Yet despite being nominated by President Michel Aoun and winning votes from 72 of parliament’s 128 members, he represents the same fundamental problem that plagued previous attempts to form a legitimate, effective government—namely, the political class persists in proposing options that represent their own elite interests rather than pursuing the serious institutional reforms the country and the people so desperately need…If Mikati is able to form a government, its mission will likely be to sidestep serious reforms, oversee the election of its hand-picked replacement, and otherwise preserve the status quo. This entails managing Lebanon’s slow-motion collapse, not reversing it. After all, Mikati is no outsider—a billionaire from Tripoli, he has always been part of the corrupt order, repeatedly using his political influence to grow his businesses and assets.”

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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.