Prime Minister Najib Mikati, a billionaire who has already twice served as premier, will lead a cabinet of ministers that will preside over an economic depression which the World Bank considers one of the world’s worst since the mid-19th century.
Mikati visited Lebanese President Michel Aoun at the Baabda Presidential Palace where he signed a decree to form the new government in the presence of Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, the Lebanese Presidency said.
The cabinet is also expected to come under massive international pressure to usher in economic reforms, ensure 2022 parliamentary elections take place as scheduled, and to restart negotiations with the International Monetary Fund.
Leading politicians at the time promised to form a government within weeks, but a series of failed negotiations between rival groups put the formation process on a collision course, exacerbating a rapidly deteriorating economic crisis that saw the currency lose over 90% of its pre-crisis value and sparked severe fuel and medicine shortages.
Mikati and his brother, and main business partner, Taha are the richest men in Lebanon. In July, Norwegian telecoms operator Telenor sold its Myanmar operations to Mikati’s company, the M1 Group, for $105 million.