Entries in Najib Mikati (2)


Hezbollah-Backed Mikati Appointed PM, Protests Rage in Tripoli

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BEIRUT, Lebanon) – Hezbollah-backed Najib Mikati has been named as Lebanon’s prime minister designate, despite continued protests around the country backing outgoing Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

Major protests in Tripoli, as well as smaller ones in Beirut, were part of what has been called a “day of rage,” despite Hariri’s continued condemnation of the violence.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that a government controlled by Hezbollah would “clearly" impact U.S. relations with the country, as Washington sees the group as a terrorist organization. Mikati, however, told the BBC he is in no way related to Hezbollah and considers himself a “moderate” politician.

The political crisis and following unrest were the result of an investigation into the murder of Hariri’s father, Rafik Hariri, which is expected to point to Hezbollah members.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Hezbollah Candidate May Lead New Lebanese Government

Image Courtesy - Getty Images(BEIRUT, Lebanon) -- Following the fall of its government just two weeks ago, Lebanon may have a new prime minister with the backing of the militant group Hezbollah.

Hezbollah is expected to nominate Najib Mikati to be the nation's new premier.

Mikati, a former Lebanese prime minister and a billionare, served as the nation's chief in 2005 in a caretaker government which preceded parliamentary elections.

Mikati came into his wealth as the creator of Investcom, a telecommunications company.

Lebanese President Michel Suleiman spoke with lawmakers on Monday as the process began to choose a new prime minister, following the fall of the coalition led by Saad Hariri.

A Hezbollah-led coalition walked out of the government in mid-January in protest of a United Nations-led inquiry into the killing of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri. Hezbollah claims the inquisition was targeted against them by the United States.

The U.S. has made clear its intentions to cease all aid to Lebanon in the event of a Hezbollah-controlled government because of its alleged ties to al Qaeda.

Although the rules of Lebanese government do not allow Hezbollah to take full control, this move would give the group more power in policy-making decisions.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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