Lebanon: Mikati's Government

Since the first day of the formation of Prime Minister Najib Mikati’s government, people began to talk about how long it would last.

Four months have passed, during which the government managed to accomplish some achievements on the level of services.

Moreover, Mikati’s government has been able to break through the international isolation that the government – described as Hezbollah’s government – has faced.

What has been achieved does not alter the fact that Mikati’s government that is described by supporters as “a day to day” government and is susceptible to collapse at any moment,

The threat of a mass labor strike beginning next week will remain even if ministerial sources suggest that a settlement will be reached before then.
One of the most complex issues that Mikati’s government is facing is Syria. There is the financial aspect and the consequent international pressure on Lebanese banks, and there is the security aspect.

The government is listening to envoys from the Western countries, who are calling upon Lebanon for the protection of Syrian refugees on the one hand, and are sending their security officials to Damascus to coordinate the protection of the borders with the regime on the other hand.

In addition to all of this, there is the political dimension, which almost led last week to the resignation of Mikati because of Lebanon's stance toward the resolution issued against the Syrian regime in New York last week, after Hezbollah's representatives insisted on voting against the resolution rather than abstaining themselves from voting.

“Despite the conflicts and opinions inside the government, there is a collective interest that the government keeps its responsibilities intact,” Said Farid al-Khazen

FPM Deputy: There is a lot of tension on the internal level, but the government will not resign, since that would go against the interest of all parties.

The government will have to overcome another sensitive issue, which is funding the International Tribunal. For every statement made by Mikati or one of his ministers that Lebanon is committed to providing its share of the STL budget, comes a statement from Hezbollah, Amal Movement and the Free Patriotic Movement saying that the funding will not be endorsed.

“The interest of the government is elemental, and the government considers the issue of financing to be very important. That the tribunal arose from this is a fact and no one can deny this fact. Some people are for the tribunal and others are against it,” said Akram Chehayeb.

Personal disagreements that have indeed worsened in recent weeks are added to all of these files, especially in light of the documents revealed by Wikileaks, disclosing what government officials say about each other, making the government seem to be one of enemy allies.

(Translated from Arabic by Sarah Sfeir)

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