Report – Samir Al-Khatib likely to take over Lebanese gov’t

BEIRUT, Over a month after the resignation of the Lebanese government, Samir Al-Khatib’s name finally emerged as prime minister, just days before Lebanese President Michel Aoun began parliamentary consultations to name a new prime minister.

Al-Khatib, executive vice president of Khatib and Alami, is from outside the political class but by virtue of his business, obtained Arab and international relations.

Al-Khatib is making his way to the political parties as a leading candidate for the possibility of being assigned to form a new government during the parliamentary consultations to be held next Monday.

In his first comment after his name circulated, local media quoted him as saying that his relationship with all sides are good.

After the outgoing Prime Minister Saad Hariri was unwilling to take over the new government, the name exchange began to put forward figures that might be approved by the Lebanese political parties. Three names emerged as candidates for the new government formation.

The first name put forward was Former Finance Minister Mohammad Safadi, but days after he was rejected, he made a statement of apology for taking this task, then circulated the name of Former Justice Minister Bahij Tabbara, who in turn also apologized.

Al-Khatib’s name received media attention, addressing him as a candidate to form the next government to get approval by the main political parties in the outgoing government.

However, since the deliberative name of Al-Khatib, demonstrators refused to take to the streets and insisted on forming a government of independent technocrats without the participation of parties in power.

Al-Khatib is a businessman from the town of Mazboud in the province of Iqlim El-Kharroub.

Aoun has called for binding parliamentary consultations on Monday, about five days later, a long period that could undergo changes in Lebanon.

Since October 17, Lebanon has been witnessing protests, calling for forming a government of specialists to be able to address financial positions and improve living conditions in the country.

Source: Kuwait News Agency