The binding parliamentary consultations to name the next prime minister kicked off at Baabda Palace on Thursday, as caretaker PM Saad Hariri was first to arrive and meet with President Michel Aoun.
Based on the statements made this week by various parliamentary blocs, Hariri is widely expected to be renamed premier in the consultations.
MP-elect ex-PM Najib Miqati, who leads a four-member parliamentary bloc, met with Aoun and told reporters afterwards that he nominates Hariri for the premiership.
“In light of the national imperatives and challenges, I named Hariri for the premiership,” he told reporters.
A statement issued by the presidency said the consultations will start at 10:00 am and end shortly after 5:00 pm.
Former Prime Minister and MP-elect Tammam Salam also named Hariri, he said: “A new phase is ahead of us. I pray it be a promising one led by a promising man who is Saad Hariri.”
Deputy Speaker Elie Ferzli, whose election to the current post a day earlier was not met with (Hariri’s) al-Mustaqbal Movement approval, said after meeting Aoun: “We have affirmed the nomination of Hariri for the premiership.”
After consultations with Aoun, al-Mustaqbal bloc led by MP Bahia Hariri (Saad Hariri's aunt) said the bloc has nominated the caretaker PM to lead the new premiership.
The Strong Lebanon coalition which comprises the Free Patriotic Movement's MPs, the Armenian MPs bloc, the Mount Lebanon Guarantee bloc (Talal Arslan, Cesar Abi Khalil, Mario Aoun and Farid al-Bustani), and Independence Movement leader MP Michel Mouawad named Hariri.
MP-elect Jebran Bassil, head of the bloc told reporters: “We have nominated Hariri. This position is normal and consistent with the outcome of the elections.”
On the other hand, Hizbullah’s Loyalty to the Resistance bloc unsurprisingly did not name Hariri for the post. They said they "nominated no one."
MP-elect Faisal Karami, spoke on behalf of the National Coalition bloc (Farid al-Khazen, Tony Franjieh, Estephan Douaihi, Fayez Ghosn, Mustafa al-Husseini and Jihad al-Samad and Karami) after meeting Aoun.
He said: “As a national coalition we have named Hariri for premiership except for Jihad al-Samad.”
Shyly stuttering newly elected MP Taymour Jumblat, who heads the Democratic Gathering bloc succeeding his father Walid Jumblat, announced that the bloc has nominated Hariri. The Independent Center bloc led by Miqati named Hariri as well.
Until noon, around 56 MPs out of 70 have tapped Hariri for a new government post.