On Tuesday 25th January 2011, the President of Lebanon, Michel Sleiman, appointed Najib Mikati as Prime Minister designate. He issued the following statement:
“Pursuant to the provisions of section (2) of article 53 of the Constitution, pertaining to the nomination of a Prime Minister-designate, and after consulting with the President of the Chamber of Deputies based on the binding parliamentary consultations that the President of the Republic held on the 24th and the 25th of January 2011, the content of which the President formally discloses to the Speaker on the 25th of January 2011, the President of the Republic summoned former Premier Najib Mikati, at 13:55 p.m. on Tuesday, January 25, 2011, and appointed him to form a new cabinet.”
The co-founder of M1 Group and INVESTCOM, as well as a graduate of Harvard University, Mr Mikati insists that he is “not Hizbollah’s man”. In a statement released on his personal website, Prime Minister Mikati said:
“I say in all honesty that my nomination by Hezbollah does not mean I am bound by any of their political positions, except as concerns the protection of the national resistance
“I will not assume a position with regard to the government’s structure currently but I hope for the participation of all parties and if some refuse [to join the cabinet], I will decide on either a technocrat cabinet or a combined one in cooperation with President Michel Sleiman.”
The 55 year old billionaire has previously held the position of Prime Minister in Lebanon for 90 days in 2005.