Lebanon: Outgoing PM likely to retain post as Syrian forces start redeployment
Lebanon's President Emile Lahoud opened consultations with Parliament bloc leaders to name a new prime minister Wednesday amid media reports that outgoing Premier Omar Karami was certain to be re-designated to head a government. Karami is considered as a pro-Syrian. The opposition is boycotting the consultations.
According to An Nahar newspaper, the opposition boycott of Wednesday's consultations has set the grounds for Karami's re-designation by at least 60-to-64 votes of the 128 parliament members.
"I have nominated Omar Karami, begging Bahia Hariri's pardon," Speaker Berri Nabih told reporters as he emerged from a meeting with President Lahoud. Hariri's sister, who is a parliament member, has been widely tipped as Lebanon's next prime minister.
Asked to comment on his impending return to the premiership after his resignation nine days ago, Karami told An Nahar "I am not enthusiastic. But let's wait and see how things go."
Meanwhile, about 6,000 Syrian troops have begun to pull out at midnight from Lebanon's central mountain ridge above Beirut to new positions in east Lebanon's Bekaa Valley.