Lebanon’s President Michel Suleiman has appointed Najib Mikati as prime minister.

On Tuesday 25 January, 68 out of the 125 members of parliament expressed support for the appointment of Mikati, who is backed by Shia group Hezbollah.

Mikati replaces outgoing prime minister Saad Hariri, who was forced out earlier this month when the unity government collapsed due to opposition members resigning from the cabinet. Hariri was elected as prime minister in November 2009.

The collapse of the government was triggered by protests from opposition members in parliament over the UN investigation into the assassination of the former prime minister Rafik Hariri, Saad’s father, in 2005.