Najib Mikati

February 2011
Biographies for International Security;2/2/2011, p1
Najib Mikati, a billionaire Lebanese businessman and Sunni politician, was asked to form a new government in Lebanon in late January 2011. As prime minister, he replaced Saad Hariri, the son of another wealthy Lebanese businessman and political figure. Hariri had refused to renounce in advance the findings of an international tribunal investigating the assassination in 2005 of Hariri's father Rafik. A sealed indictment handed down by the tribunal in January 2011 was reputed to blame the Shiite political party-cum-militia Hezbollah, a designated terrorist organization, for the elder Hariri's murder. While Lebanon's constitution reserves the post of prime minister for a Sunni, Mikati's appointment was widely interpreted as having been at the behest of Hezbollah, marking a high point in the influence of Hezbollah and a resurgence of Syrian influence. Mikati, who had served as prime minister for two months in 2005, denied that he was prejudiced towards the tribunal.


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