A new Lebanese government will be announced on Friday, the prime minister designate said, after a year of political fighting that has exacerbated the country’s devastating economic collapse.
Prime Minister-designate Najib Mikati told Lebanon 24 news outlet that he was due to visit President Michel Aoun later on Friday and that the government would be “announced today in the afternoon”.
The presidency said on Twitter that Mikati would meet with Aoun, but did not say whether they had reached an agreement on a government.
An official source told Reuters that the cabinet lineup Mikati would present to Aoun was promising. Political sources said there had been intensive contacts overnight in an attempt to reach an agreement.
Failure to agree on a cabinet left Lebanon without an effective government as the country sank deeper into a crisis that the World Bank has described as one of the most acute implosions of times modern.
Mikati, a politician and businessman who was appointed prime minister in July, has previously said he will seek to resume negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) once his government is formed.
Cabinet formation has repeatedly derailed by disagreements between political factions over the distribution of cabinet seats.
Mikati is the third Prime Minister designate to attempt to form the government since the government resigned over a year ago following the explosion of the Port of Beirut amid the deepening economic crisis.
Mikati was appointed after Saad Al Hariri, a former prime minister, abandoned his efforts. Hariri and Aoun, a Maronite Christian, passed the blame on the failure.
Aoun’s political opponents accused him and his political party, the Free Patriotic Movement, of seeking an effective veto in the new government by claiming a third of the seats. Aoun has repeatedly denied this.