According to American University of Beirut Professor Hilal Khashan, however:
Lebanon's parliamentary arithmetic may be less important than securing sectarian consensus, saying:
"If most of the Sunni community doesn't accept Mikati's designation, we have a problem. If they are unhappy, that would violate the spirit of the constitution," arguing that he risked "political suicide" if he tries forming a government opposed by Hariri supporters who consider him a tool of a Hezbollah "coup."
On January 23, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah pledged to include political rivals in a coalition government, saying:
We seek a "national partnership in which all parties will participate. We respect everyone's right to representation."
Middle East analyst Franklin Lamb believes Mikati's appointment is a "done deal," substituting "sunni billionaire #2 (for) #1." Though street protests erupted, they "won't amount to all that much and the army will break up rowdy demos." Anger will subside. There's "not much the Obama administration can do. (S)treet pressure (might) close the US embassy, (but Washington) has almost no options since it will not squeeze Israel, so it gifts another Middle East country to the rising other empire," suggesting Iran, closely allied with Hezbollah.
Despite Hariri's March 14 coalition boycott threat, some members may break ranks, shifting loyalties to assure current benefits aren't lost, thus aiding a new government's formation.
On January 24, New York Times writer Isabel Kershner headlined, "A Hezbollah-Run Lebanon, but No Panic in Israel," saying: