The National Bloc: The choice of Najib Mikati as Prime Minister a litmus test for reform

The Lebanese National Bloc party released the following statement:

After an intense day of consultations between the different parliamentary groups, Najib Mikati, the man of the regime and of concessions par excellence has returned as a symbol of procrastination and deadly reluctance to reform.

Mikati’s return to power as a symbol of obedience to the leaders of the corrupt regime led by Hezbollah, reflects the current balance of power in the country and implies the intentions of international and regional players engaged in the Lebanese file.

But the position of the different parliamentary groups, political leaders and independent lawmakers regarding naming a new prime minister requires a clearer and more realistic reading of the newly formed parliament. For Mikati to be named without any serious competition after the electoral victories by several anti-establishment candidates revived flagging hopes for change, imposed on the opposition, and specifically on the change MPs, to demarcate the borders and determine the role they can play in the new parliament.

Because the battle today is crucial, abstaining from voting raises a real question in light of the clarity of choice between two contenders: Mr. Najib Mikati, a symbol of Lebanon's corrupt oligarchy representing the same regime, and Dr. Nawaf Salam, a diplomat, jurist, and academic renowned for his competency, transparency, integrity in addition to enjoying the international community’s support.

Najib Mikati re-appointment as Lebanon's prime minister in line with the sharp rise of US dollar exchange rate against the Lebanese pound on the black market is an additional proof that the Governor of the Central Bank - who is close to Mikati - is blackmailing the International Monetary Fund and the Lebanese society to delay reforms and buy time.

Building a better Lebanon requires swift and decisive action, particularly on reform. Today, the first responsibility lies with the new parliament to vote on the necessary reforms stipulated in the agreement with the IMF. The real battle is to stop the economic and social collapses. The battle is the Lebanese people's pain, and the “Change Deputies” are required to gain and mobilize support for reforms inside and outside the parliament.

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