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Lebanese parliament endorses new government

LEBANON’S parliament was expected to endorse a new government today as MPs convened for a vote of confidence in the new administration headed by billionaire Prime Minister Najib Mikati.

Debate was continuing as the Morning Star went to print, but a large parliamentary majority had already indicated  support for the new formation. 

If agreed, it will bring an end to 13 months of stalemate after the entire cabinet resigned in August 2020 following the Beirut port explosion, in which more than 200 people were killed.

The session, due to start this morning, was delayed by two hours due to an electricity cut — Lebanon has been plagued by blackouts due to a severe fuel crisis.

In a twist of irony it was Hezbollah that provided two generators to secure power in the parliamentary building. Just days earlier Mr Mikati had accused the Shi’ite party of violating Lebanese sovereignty after lorryloads of Iranian oil entered the country via Syria, breaking US sanctions.

Parliamentary speaker Nabih Berri urged Mr Mikati not to read through his entire cabinet mission statement at the start of the session, reminding him that they only had a few hours of electricity supply.

The Lebanese Communist Party predicts that the new administration will make the people pay for the crisis created by those in power.

It has called for popular mobilisations to overthrow the government and bring an end to the current confessional political system, which divides the highest offices of government among Lebanon’s religious sects. 

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