Billionaire businessman Najib Mikati was appointed as Lebanon's new prime minister-designate on Monday following binding parliamentary consultations with President Michel Aoun.
Mikati ran virtually unopposed, receiving 72 votes, with former ambassador Nawaf Salam receiving just one vote. Forty two MPs voted blank, and three MPs did not vote at all, reports the Al Jazeera.
His appointment comes just 11 days after Saad Hariri resigned as prime minister-designate, following nine months of political deadlock and dispute with President Aoun and his son-in-law MP Gebran Bassil.
"With the cooperation of the president, we will form a government according to the French initiative," Mikati told the press after his appointment, referring to a roadmap of economic and structural reforms French President Emanuel Macron introduced to Lebanon in August 2020.
If Mikati successfully forms a government, this would be his third stint as Lebanon's prime minister. He was briefly caretaker prime minister for several months in April 2005, and then headed a full-fledged government in 2011 for three years.
Lebanon's economy continues to crumble with half the population living below the poverty line, and a spiraling local currency that lost over 90 percent of its value.