Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Gaza: A Truce At All Costs?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Brazzaville ceasefire talks deliver fragile deal

Read more

FOCUS

Sluggish tourist season in Crimea

Read more

ENCORE!

Bartabas : Mixing Christ with Spanish music and dancing horses

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Shifts in the propaganda war waged between Israelis and Palestinians

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French MPs face quandary in pro-Palestinian rallies

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

Read more

#TECH 24

Mind the Gender Gap : getting more women into the tech sector

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Bolivian children: heading to work aged 10

Read more

  • Air Algérie crash site located, France sending military unit

    Read more

  • Air Algérie crash: 'We should eliminate the missile hypothesis'

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Pope meets with Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death for apostasy

    Read more

  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to easy victory in 18th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament elects moderate Kurd as president

    Read more

  • US, European aviation agencies lift travel restrictions to Tel Aviv

    Read more

  • No end to fighting until Israel ends Gaza blockade, Hamas says

    Read more

  • Two foreign women shot dead in western Afghanistan

    Read more

  • At least 60 killed in attack on prison convoy near Baghdad

    Read more

  • Cycling is ‘winning the war on doping,’ says expert

    Read more

  • Ceasefire agreed for Central African Republic

    Read more

  • Can Jew-kissing-Arab selfie give peace a viral chance?

    Read more

  • Botched Arizona execution takes nearly two hours

    Read more

Middle east

Hezbollah-backed candidate Mikati appointed premier

Video by Carla WESTERHEIDE

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-01-25

Hezbollah-backed candidate Najib Mikati, a telecoms billionaire, was appointed Lebanon's prime minister-designate on Tuesday. The move sparked anger among many Sunnis who criticise his ties to Hezbollah, which receives support from Iran.

AFP - Najib Mikati, who was appointed Lebanon's prime minister-designate on Tuesday, is a self-made telecoms billionaire with interests also in real estate, oil and gas and other industries
              
Mikati was nominated for the post by 68 out of 128 MPs after the Shiite militant group Hezbollah brought down the unity government of outgoing Prime Minister Saad Hariri on January 12.
              
The appointment unleashed a wave of anger among the country's Sunni Muslims, who accuse him of betraying his community after he secured the backing of Iranian-backed Hezbollah and its allies for premiership.

Hassan Nasrallah defends Hezbollah against Hariri charges

A former prime minister, Mikati has a reputation as a moderate who enjoys good ties with Lebanon's former powerbroker Syria, which is steadily regaining influence over its smaller neighbour.
              
But his popularity among Lebanon's Sunnis pales next to that of Saudi- and Western-backed Hariri. The 55-year-old magnate first entered local politics in 1998 and was last elected to parliament in 2009 as an ally of Hariri.
              
Today, he maintains that he is a centrist and after his appointment vowed to reach out to all parties, at a time when Hezbollah and Hariri are going head to head over the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL).
              
"I will cooperate fully with all Lebanese to form a new government that protects their unity and sovereignty," Mikati told reporters in Beirut.
              
The UN-backed tribunal is investigating the 2005 murder of Hariri's father, ex-premier Rafiq Hariri, and this month filed a draft indictment for review.
              
The government collapse capped a long-running dispute over the STL, which Hezbollah has said will indict its members, warning any such accusation would have "grave repercussions".
              

Hariri meanwhile has ruled out joining a government headed by a candidate appointed by Hezbollah -- or Mikati.
              
Tall, clean-cut and composed, Mikati emerged as a leader in the wake of Rafiq Hariri's murder, when he headed a three-month interim government in 2005 during the worst political turmoil to grip Lebanon since the 1975-1990 civil war.
              
The Hariri assassination resulted in a wave of rage among Lebanon's anti-Syrian communities and sparked mass protests that forced the resignation of Omar Karameh's Damascus-backed government.
              
Mikati stepped up and pledged to fire security officials and the public prosecutor in the aftermath of the killing, which secured him the support of Lebanon's mourning Sunnis.
              
Within two weeks, he had formed a slimline 14-member government made up mainly of technocrats. Three months later he was succeeded by Fuad Siniora.
              
Mikati, who hails from the Sunni bastion of Tripoli in north Lebanon, was first appointed minister of transport and public works in 1998.
              
In 2000, he beat fellow Tripoli native Karameh in a legislative vote, landing himself a seat in parliament while still serving in government.
              
He owns the M1 Group, an international investment holding group with shares in South Africa's telecom MTN Group and French fashion line Faconnable, and has interests in real estate, oil and gas and other industries.
              
Forbes magazine in 2010 estimated his net worth at 2.5 billion dollars, making him one of Lebanon's richest men. He ties for rank 374 on the Forbes list of billionaires with his brother and business partner Taha.
              
Born on November 24, 1955, Mikati is a graduate of the American University of Beirut's business school and also studied at the prestigious universities of INSEAD and Harvard.
              
He is married with three children.

 

Date created : 2011-01-25

  • LEBANON

    Hariri allies say Hezbollah launched pro-Iran coup, call for protests

    Read more

  • Lebanon

    Hariri rejects unity government led by Hezbollah-appointed candidate

    Read more

COMMENT(S)