Lebanese President Michel Suleiman on Tuesday urged the telecom tycoon Nadjib Mikati, a Sunni-supported Hezbollah and its allies to form a new government.
Nadjib Mikati, 55, who has been prime minister of Lebanon for three months in 2005, is assured of the support of 68 MPs out of 128 nationwide, according to political sources.
Those members not only come from Hezbollah and another Shiite party, Amal, but also Christians loyal to Michel Aoun and Druze, led by Walid Jumblatt.
The appointment of Mr Mikati was denounced by the current Prime Minister, Saad Hariri, whose government has effondréle January 12 following the resignation of 11 ministers.
The hostility toward the investigation of the special tribunal for Lebanon (STL) on the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri led to the outbreak of the coalition headed by his son Saad.
Mr Mikati has reached out to all Lebanese political groups by inviting them to overcome their differences, but Saad Hariri has ruled out participating in a government with Hezbollah in control.
The candidate of Hezbollah in power
With this appointment, Hezbollah and its allies have direct access to power. Backed by Syria and Iran but considered a terrorist group by Washington, Hezbollah is expected that some of its members are implicated in the indictment of TSL.
The conclusions of the prosecutor in this case were filed in the court of the STL, but have not been made public.
Hezbollah denies any involvement in the assassination of former Prime Minister. He tried unsuccessfully to persuade Saad Hariri to disavow this court. This failure is causing the mass resignation of 11 ministers.
The future of TSL will likely be the priority issue Nadjib Mikati. Hezbollah wants the government to cease all cooperation with the tribunal, including by suspending all funding and removing the Lebanese judges.
A Hezbollah candidate to head the government fears the international community to form a firm pro-Iranian, which is denied by the Shiite party.
The United States immediately warned against the impact that increased power of Hezbollah might have on U.S. aid to Lebanon.
Demonstrations and violence
Hundreds of supporters of Saad Hariri have demonstrated Tuesday in Tripoli, Lebanon's northern city from which originates Nadjib Mikati, during a "day of anger", to denounce what they regard as a coup State prepared by Hezbollah.
The demonstrators carried Lebanese flags and pictures of Hariri, who has called for calm. Some still burned a photo of Mr. Mikati. "The Iranian project will not go through Tripoli," could be read on the signs.