Najib Azmi Mikati ( نجيب ميقاتي) is a politician and businessman currently serving as the Prime Minister of Lebanon. In addition, from April 2005 to July 2005 he was Prime Minister of Lebanon in a caretaker government. On January 25, 2011, Mikati was nominated to serve as Prime Minister by a majority of the votes in the parliamentary consultations following the fall of the Lebanese government in January 2011. President Michel Suleiman appointed him as the new Prime Minister following the dissolution of the government led by former Prime Minister Saad Hariri.
Mikati graduated from the American University of Beirut in 1980 with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. He also attended a number of Executive and External programs at Harvard.
He co-founded the telecommunications company Investcom with his brother Taha in 1982. He sold the company in June 2006 to South Africa's MTN Group for $5.5 billion. In 2008, Forbes estimated his wealth at about $2.6 billion, making him the world's 446th richest person.
After being appointed to the Cabinet as Minister of Public Works and Transport on 4 December 1998, he was elected to the National Assembly from hometown of Tripoli in 2000, outpolling Omar Karami, who was elected from the same multimember constituency. As a parliamentarian, he retained his cabinet position and developed a reputation as a moderately pro-Syrian politician with a normal relationship with Syrian President Bashar Assad.
He was a perennial candidate for Lebanon's Prime Ministry since 2000, finally taking the office upon the resignation of Omar Karami on 13 April 2005.
He is the leader of the Glory Movement (Harakat Majd: حركة مجد ) which has had two seats in the Lebanese parliament since 2004.
First prime ministership
In the negotiations to form a government, Mikati emerged as a consensus candidate. Despite his closeness to Syria, his willingness to compromise and his promise to dismiss the chiefs of the security forces, whom many Lebanese suspected of involvement in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri on 14 February 2005, won him the support of the anti-Syrian opposition, against the strongly pro-Syrian Minister of Defence, Abdul Rahim Mourad "We will be the symbol of moderation and national unity," Mikati declared after being sworn in at the Presidential Palace in Baabda.
He was appointed Prime Minister by President Emile Lahoud on 15 April 2005, to succeed Omar karami, who gave up after seven weeks of frustrated efforts to form a consensus governmen and resigned. He held office for three months, handing over on 19 July to Fouad Siniora.
Mikati's immediate priority was to prepare Lebanon for crucial parliamentary elections, which were scheduled to be held by 31 May 2005. Constiutionally, a government must be in place to call for an election, and opposition politicians had accused President Lahoud and former Prime Minister Karami of stalling the formation of a government in order to thwart the elections, which anti-Syrian parties believed they could win. Mikati's government succeeded in organizing the election, that saw the opposition, that was now known as the March 14 Movement, win 72 out of the 128 seats in the National Assembly.
Nomination as Prime Minister
Main article: Lebanese government of November 2009
On 24 January 2011, the March 8 alliance nominated Mikati to become prime minister and succeed Saad Hariri, whose government was brought down by the resignation of 10 of the alliance's ministers, and one presidential appointee, on January 12, 2011. It was a result of the collapse of the Saudi-Syrian initiative to reach a compromise on the issue of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
On 25 January 2011, the Parliament of Lebanon voted on his nomination with 68 MP's nominating Mikati for Prime Minister. President of Lebanon Michel Suleiman then nominated Mikati to head a new Lebanese government.
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