Nearly 11 months after the resignation of former Prime Minister Najib Mikati on March 22, 2013 and the ensuing leadership vacuum, the new Lebanese government was finally formed on Feb. 15. The cabinet is headed by Beirut member of parliament Tammam Salam, who belongs to the coalition of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, and comprises 24 ministers carefully chosen to ensure balance between religions, sects, parties and ministerial portfolios in an extremely complicated formula specific to the Lebanese situation.
There are two important aspects about this government. First, it seems as though roles have been reversed for the three most prominent political and religious powers in the country. Second, there is a state of anticipation as this government heads into its first challenge: agreeing on a new ministerial statement from among three proposed choices and with a constitutional deadline of 30 days to win the trust of the Lebanese parliament, or the government will be considered resigned.