Najib Mikati, is Lebanon’s richest man and now he takes over the post of Prime Minister. He has held this same position twice before.
After a year, Lebanon now has a new government. The previous administration quit following the devastating explosion at Beirut port.
Najib Mikati is appointment, along with the of a new cabinet which now has ended months of political paralysis. The changes come in when the country of Lebanon is facing one of the severest domestic crises it has ever seen in its history.
The value of the currency has collapsed, unemployment and inflation have risen. Even the chains of necessity like electricity, fuel and medicines are facing supply shortages. The country is under engaged protests calling for wholesale political reforms for nearly two years.
The explosion which made the situation worse for Lebanon killed 203 people injuring at least 6,000 others and left billions of dollars of damage. The improper storing of the ammonium nitrate was cause for the explosion.
The disaster coming amidst the pandemic triggered a wave of outrage against the then Lebanon’s political system. Protesters has been blaming corruption, incompetence and a system of patronage where jobs are given in return for political support for the explosion.
The event compounded growing anger which had been building since the start of the financial crisis in late 2019. In the last few months alone the Lebanese currency has lost 90% of its value, while three quarters of the population are now living below the poverty line.
About Najib Mikati –
Najib Azmi Mikati, born on 24 November 1955 is a Lebanese politician and businessman. Currently positioned as Prime Minister of Lebanon since he formed a government in 2021.
Mikati was close to the Syrian government and operated several telecom projects in Syria and Lebanon. He served as Minister of Public Works and Transport from 1998 to 2003.
In 2005, he headed an interim government that supervised the general election following the withdrawal of Syrian troops. In 2011, he formed his second government backed by the March 8 alliance, before he resigned in 2013. Mikati was member of parliament for Tripoli from 2000 to 2005 and was re-elected in 2009 and 2018.
According to Forbes, he is the richest man in Lebanon, with a net worth of $2.5 billion in 2021. Mikati has faced allegations for multiple corruption and illegitimate gains.
(image credit: Wikimedia Common)