Najib Mikati
Najib Mikati REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir/File Photo

Lebanon's lawmakers on Thursday designated incumbent Prime Minister Najib Mikati to form a new government, more than a month after parliamentary elections that yielded no clear majority, AFP reports.

The 66-year-old billionaire, who had been widely expected to keep his job, secured 54 votes during parliamentary consultations, giving him a clear edge over other potential nominees, according to the report.

President Michel Aoun subsequently asked him to form a new government, a task analysts fear could take weeks, if not months, despite the economic emergency facing the country.

The Hezbollah movement, whose political alliance lost the clear majority it had in the previous parliament, threw its weight behind Mikati, the richest man in Lebanon who has already headed three governments since 2005.

The previous Lebanese government headed by Mikati was formed in September of 2021 after a 13-month impasse as the country grapples with one of the worst crises in its history.

Mikati took on the task of forming a new government two months before that, days after fellow veteran politician Saad Hariri threw in the towel.

Hariri gave up the post when he failed to reach an agreement with Aoun on a Cabinet.

Before that, Lebanon did not have a government as the previous Cabinet had resigned following the deadly port explosion that rocked the capital of Beirut in August of 2020. Over 200 people were killed in the blast, which also left thousands injured and devastated much of the city.